Scientists Discover 500-Million-Year-Old Insect Shaped Like Rabbit Ears

Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

Chinese scientists have discovered the fossil of a 500 million-year-old insect with a head resembling rabbit ears.

The fossil of the ancient phantaspis auritus was found in the city of Weifang in the central-east Chinese province of Shandong.

According to the newspaper Global Times, the insect, which lived around 500 million years ago, is distinguished by its head which has the shape of rabbit ears.

Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Huo Xiuquan/Newsflash

The news was announced by the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where researchers Sun Zhixin, Dr Zeng Han, and Zhao Fangchen are analysing the fossil.

The insect’s head was long and counted for nearly half its body length of 4cm (1.6 in).

The insect, which is said to have lived in the Cambrian geologic period, is from the trilobite family.

Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology/Newsflash

According to national newspaper QQ, the period is often referred to as the “age of the trilobites”.

A member of the research team, Zhixin, said the insect is “distinctive” due to its unusual head shape as “most trilobites had circular heads”.

The Cambrian explosion or Cambrian radiation was an event approximately 541 million years ago when most major animal types started appearing in the fossil record.

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