Old, But Not That Old: Debunking the Myth of Ancient Cockroaches

Gyna lurida

By Dominic Anthony Evangelista, Ph.D. and Manpreet Kohli Cockroaches are not 300 million years old. They might not even be 200 million years old. In fact, the oldest cockroaches known from the fossil record are only 125-140 million years old, hardly the ancient and immortal beasts claimed by some. In our new paper published in […]

Cimicid Remains Found in Oregon Caves are Oldest Ever Found

Cimex latipennis

A cave in southern Oregon that is the site of some the oldest preserved evidence of human activity in North America was also once home to not-too-distant cousins of the common bed bug. In research published this week in the Journal of Medical Entomology, a pair of archaeologists describe remains found in caves near Paisley, […]

Ant and Termite Fossils Indicate Advanced Sociality 100 Million Years Ago

Insects that are “eusocial” live in colonies with closely related nestmates and display social behavior, including a division of labor. The best-known examples are honey bees, termites, and ants. All eusocial insects display the following three traits: 1) They cooperate while caring for their young, 2) there is a division of labor among different castes […]

Ant Fossils from Europe Resemble Modern Asian Ants

Professor Evan Economo of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University and his team have compared a database of modern ants with a database of fossil ants. The analysis has shown in which locations fossilized ants are more related to the ants now living in the same area of the world. Interestingly, ants […]

Fossilized Tick Provides Evidence that Lyme Disease is Millions of Years Older than Humans

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. The stealthy, often misdiagnosed disease was discovered nearly 40 years ago in a town called Lyme, Connecticut, which is how it got its name. However, newly discovered fossilized ticks show that the bacteria […]