Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Kate's New and Hot (Week 6)

More really really old fossils (just one actually).

Hey all,

This week my new and hot is from Scientific American and it's about a really old lobster fossil (120 million years old, to be exact) that was found in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The article is from May 2nd and the headline is "Mexico finds world's oldest lobster fossil." This fossil is estimated to be some 20 million years older than the previously oldest known lobster fossil. What's really cool about it though, is that it was alive when Africa and the Americas were just breaking apart, and it's from a genus which is in Africa today, but not found in the Americas. After the split, American and African lobsters evolved separately, and that's why they differ today.

The ancient species is called Palinurus Palaceosi and is one of the world's best preserved lobster fossils. Ninety percent of the body was preserved in very fine mud. You can see the whole article here.


1 comment:

chickenpox said...

I wonder what it tasted like...
Of course, there were no mammals around to find out.