January 13, 2018

Fossil scales of Jurassic Butterflies and Moths (Image courtesy van Eldijk et al.)

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” describes the discovery of the oldest fossil remains of lepidoptera, the order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. A team of scientists analyzed soil samples in which Professor Paul K. Strother of Boston College previously identified fossil remains. The dating at about 200 million years ago indicates that those insects existed tens of millions of years before flowering plants, while many previous estimates suggested a possible coevolution between the two groups.