Insects in Amber

P. Stadel Nielsen fdki at
Wed Sep 10 17:22:35 EDT 1997

Dave Chesmore <E.D.Chesmore at E-ENG.HULL.AC.UK> wrote:

>Does anyone know when moths/butterflies are supposed to have
>evolved and whether there are any specimens in amber?

I am not a specialist on this, but in a Danish paper "Naturens Verden"
(world of nature) Niels Mxller Andersen, Zoological Museum in
Copenhagen describes the oldest known butterfly 54 mio years in a
special type of clay from Denmark. It has a wing span of abt. 5 cm.
and looks just like any flattened butterfly. It is found with
representatives from most other orders of insects, all looking almost
exactly like the ones we see today. It is also said in the article,
that most insect orders were established alreay 200 mio years ago!
Another interesting thing is that it is mentioned, that the insects
found in change from cretasious to tertiary are the same. As insects,
as we know, reacts quickly to changes in klima and vegetation, this
questions the socalled disaster theory which explains the extinction
of the dinosaurs.
Perhaps you can find more information at the homepage of the
Zoological Museum in Copenhagen:

P. Stadel Nielsen
fdki at

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