Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Ancient ‘hell ant’ found inside amber

While monstrous dinosaurs roamed the earth, the insect world had its own fearsome creature – a ‘hell ant’ with a reinforced metal horn on its head.

Dating back 99 million years, the hell ant, known as Linguamyrmex vladi, hunted and defended itself in ways unknown to modern ants. The insect, which turned up in amber mined in Myanmar, displays ‘weaponry’ around its head. It’s thought the fortified horn was used with scythe-like mandibles to pin and puncture soft-bodied prey.
The ferocious looking ant is likely to have gone extinct during the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene period, 99 to about 78 million years ago.