Scientists discover fossils of oldest known potential pollinators

Scientists discover fossils of oldest known potential pollinators | Science.
Nearly 200m years before the mosquito in Jurassic Park became trapped in amber, hundreds of ancient insects were encased in sediment along the bank of the Sylva river that flows through the Urals.
Now, scientists inspecting the flattened creatures have found a handful that appear to mark a moment in history: they are the oldest known insects to be covered in pollen, and perhaps some of the world’s first plant pollinators.
Rare fossils of the earwig-like insects were discovered when palaeontologists cracked open rocks along the riverbank near the half-derelict village of Chekarda in Russia.
At 280m years old, the specimens predate what were previously the earliest known pollen-covered insects by about 120m years.
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Known as tillyardembiids, the fossilised insects had clumps of pollen on their heads, bodies and legs, which under a fluorescent microscope looked like Christmas baubles.

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