There are about 1 million described species of insects, and millions more still to be discovered, but every species of insect on Earth has been placed in only 31 existing orders. Now there’s one more.
The findings have been published in the journal Cretaceous Research and describe this small, wingless female insect that probably lived in fissures in the bark of trees, looking for mites, worms or fungi to feed on while dinosaurs lumbered nearby. It was tiny, but scary looking.
“This insect has a number of features that just don’t match those of any other insect species that I know,” said George Poinar, Jr., an emeritus professor of entomology in the OSU College of Science and one of the world’s leading experts on plant and animal life forms found preserved in the semi-precious stone amber.
“I had never really seen anything like it. It appears to be unique in the insect world, and after considerable discussion we decided it had to take its place in a new order.”
Perhaps most unusual, Poinar said, was a triangular head with bulging eyes, with the vertex of the right triangle located at the base of the neck. This is different from any other known insect, and would have given this species the ability to see almost 180 degrees by turning its head sideways.
You can read and see more at Phys.org.