Large Lower Cretaceous Mayfly Fossil Insect (Ephemeroptera)

Mayfly Insect Fossil

Class Insecta: Insect Order Ephemeroptera

Geological Time: Lower Cretaceous (~125 m.y.a.)

Size: 22 mm

Fossil Site: Yixian Formation, Chao Yang, Liaoning Province of China

Class Insecta is diversely represented in Liaoning and Hebei Provinces of China, with over 500 species referable to over 100 families based upon over 10,000 specimens. This fantastic diversity and exquisite detail is unprecedented throughout the world. This fossil insect is a large Mayfly preserved in ventral view. These are more commonly seen as larvae. Modern-day Mayflies emerge from the aquatic homes after metamorphosis, and live only a short while before dying, making this one an uncommon specimen. Notice the many freshwater clams that are indicative of the environment in which these insects lived.

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