Discovery of a New Cricket in Long Neglected Amber Collection in Washington

‘Sir David Attenborough’ is a 20 million year old grasshopper that has been discovered in amber. Sir David Attenborough is the man who made the discovery of this grasshopper and named it after him. He stated that he is ‘tickled pink’ after finding out the old insect in the long neglected amber collection.

Illinois University had been studying amber collection discovered in Dominican Republic around 50 years ago. They have discovered new flies, midges, wasps, stingless bees, bark beetles, spiders as well as mites, which were frozen during that time and give a fascinating snapshot of the entire evolution.

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Electrotettix Attenboroughi, the pygmy grasshopper that translates as Attenbourgh’s amber grasshopper, is an interesting insect as it portrays a phase where the creature was about to lose its wings.

Illinois University’s palaeontologist, Sam Heads, said, “Grasshoppers are very rare in amber and this specimen is extraordinarily well-preserved. Sir David has a personal interest in amber, and also he was one of my childhood heroes and still is one of my heroes and so I decided to name the species in his honour. Fossil insects can provide lots of insight into the evolution of specific traits and behaviours, and they also tell us about the history of the time period.”

On this, Sir David then responded, “It’s the nicest compliment you can receive from a naturalist. I’m tickled pink.”

 

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