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A living species of aquatic beetle found in 20-million-year-old sediments
Date:10/6/2011

the shape of male genitalia and other details. That is why the fossil discovered by the Czech-Russian-British team is so important: it bears enough details to allow its detailed comparison with the living species. Although the genitalia are not preserved in the fossil, the scientists were lucky that Helophorus beetles bear species-specific granulation on the pronotum which was readily seen on the fossil and allowed its reliable identification.

A life-style associated with an environment which remains stable over time, such as rotten wood, has been suggested as one of the possible ways in which long-living species may have survived from the past. The discovery of a long-living species of an aquatic beetle may indicate that temporary pools in which Helophorus sibiricus is mainly living today may be another example of such a stable environment it is really not difficult to imagine that the conditions in a pool created in a modern grassland from the melting snow are very similar to those one would have found in such a pool 20 million years ago.


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Contact: Martin Fikacek
mfikacek@gmail.com
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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