The amber tomb of a “dancing” wasp and a delicate flower hides a shocking secret

A small flower that blossomed 30 million years ago and still survives today in near-perfect condition, kept inside an airless amber tomb with only a small wasp – also frozen in place – for communion.

Finding this insect and its flower suspended so closely provides clues about their relationship in the ancient tropical ecosystem they once inhabited, according to a new study published June 16 in the journal. Historical Biology (Opens in a new tab). The inflorescence belonged to a previously unknown flower species in an exceptionally rare group, and was hidden within one of the globular seed pods: the developing caterpillar of a tiny fly, which was probably intended as a future meal for wasp pups. .

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