Skip to comments.'Monstrously Big Ant' Fossil Found in Wyoming
Posted on 05/03/2011 9:41:13 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Almost 50 million years ago, ants the size of hummingbirds roamed what is now Wyoming, a new fossil discovery reveals. These giant bugs may have crossed an Arctic land bridge between Europe and North America during a particularly warm period in Earth's history.
At about 2 inches (5 cm) long, the specimen is a "monstrously big ant," said Bruce Archibald, a paleoentomologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia who reported the discovery today (May 3) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Though fossils of loose giant ant wings have been found before in the United States, this is the first known full-body specimen.
The fossil ant is from a well-known fossil site in Wyoming called the Green River Formation, but it had been sitting in a drawer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Archibald said. When a curator showed him the fossil, Archibald said, he knew he was looking at something exciting. ..
"I immediately recognized it and said, 'Oh my god, this is a giant ant and it looks like it's related to giant ants that are known from about this time in Germany.'"
Archibald dubbed the new ant Titanomyrma lubei -- "titan" for its size, "myrma" for the Greek, "myrmex," or ant, and "lubei" for the fossil collector who discovered the specimen, Louis Lube. ..
Ants are tough bugs -- some can even create rafts out of their own bodies to survive floods. But a look at modern large ants showed Archibald and his colleagues that T. lubei very likely needed a warm climate to live, similar to modern-day giant ants. ..
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
A two-inch-long ant that once roamed Wyoming rivals
today's hummingbirds in size. CREDIT: Bruce Archibald
That hummingbird looks like he’s pining for the fjords.
I actually was getting that up before I saw your poster - GMTA...
They never hold that still for me...
I’ve got a monstrously big aunt in Wyoming..they grow em that way down there...
A benign but foul-looking bug that fills the niche of mice in New Zealand is the Weta. Those things can get up to 8” in length. Giant ants got nuthin’ on ‘em!
Oh, jeez. The dreaded Japanese swallow-hornet. Just a few of those things will destroy a honeybee colony. They are bad news.
That dude must be dead cuz no way I’d let that thing crawl on me like that!
It’s wuz warmers sometimes befohs now???
Dem poh Aunts is deyead cuz deh had uh heat stroke!
Good grief...if i found one of those things in my bedroom...
it would be Bed-weta-ing time for me!
Things be you-gly! Gotta admit, it you want freak some
folks out...show ‘em those......
Didn’t they do “mystic eyes”? Wasn’t Van Morrison the lead
singer at that time?
Waitaminit. If that Ant’s related to the German Ants, are they cousins (however many times removed)? And what about the Uncles? How come no one mentions the missing Uncles?
The Green River Formation has great fossils, esp. of flies and other insects. A really fine limestone matrix which allows for great preservation of details such as wing-lines, legs, fish/scales/eyes, etc.
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