Rare Cretaceous Amber with Manipulator Predatory Cockroach

Walked with the Dinosaurs

Manipulator modificaputis

Class Insecta, Superorder Dictyoptera, Order Blattodea, Family Manipulatoridae

Geological Time: Late Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage (~100 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Amber: 17 mm long, 10 mm across, Inclusion: 8 mm, plus legs

Fossil Site: Hukawng Valley, Kachin State, Myanmar

Code: MYA08

Price: $995.00

Dinosaur Era Amber with Cretaceous Manipulator Prepatory CockroachDescription: This plaque of amber displays one of the ultimate survivors of the insect world: a cockroach. Members of the order have been around from the Carboniferous some 300 million years ago. This one, preserved in Burmite amber, is some 100 million years old and looks as if it could have been scuttling around in the kitchen just yesterday. What is most unusual about this one is it presumably displayed a predatory lifestyle much like that of its close relatives the praying mantises. This taxon was described just last year, and is thought to have been a pursuit predator, a niche not known to have been hitherto occupied by extinct cockroaches. It is so different from other known fossil roaches as to have been given its own family, of which it at present is the only member. The elongated limbs and semi-raptorial forelimbs are most certainly indicative of its presumed habit. At the time of its naming only a half dozen examples were known.

Also see: Cretaceous Jersimantis luzzii praying mantis in amber and  Pseudoscorpion in Cretaceous Fossil Amber and Centipede in Cretaceous Amber

  • References:
    AMNH Novitates, No. 3361, Mar 26, 2002.
  • Geologica Carpathica, April 2015, 66, 2, pp 133-138.

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