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29 million-year-old locust eggs found in a monument in the United States of America |  Sciences

29 million-year-old locust eggs found in a monument in the United States of America | Sciences

The first fossilized grasshopper eggs described on Earth were found in John Day Fossil Fields National Monument (John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, in English) in Oregon, United States. This news was announced by the US National Park Service on January 12.

The discovery of the eggs, dating back 29 million years, was recorded in an online article about Parks Management Forum. The study's authors discovered the fossils in the North American Monument's Sheep Rock Unit, which is known for its well-preserved layers of fossil plants and animals.

Scientists used micro-CT scans to examine the internal structure of more than 50 fossilized insect eggs and their intact shells. The study was led by Jimin Lee of the University of California, Berkeley. Nicholas Famoso, of John Day Fossil Deposits National Monument; and Angela Lin of the University of Oregon.

Previously, eggs were found at the memorial and were identified as ant pupae or eggs. But another intact nest was found in 2016, suggesting they were the skeletons of modern grasshoppers, insects that typically bury eggs in underground nests.

The first fossilized grasshopper eggs described on Earth – Image: Lee et.al

However, this is the first time fossilized eggs of ancient grasshoppers have been found, attesting to their “rarity and exceptional preservation of John Day fossil beds,” according to the National Park Service. In the current situation.

The fossilized eggshell is from a grasshopper below the radial root, While the eggs are from a family called Curvellipsoentomolithus laddi. Both designations refer to the form and nature of the finds, but are also a posthumous tribute to the first superintendent of the monument in Oregon, Benjamin Ladd.

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“Mr. Ladd initiated park conservation, resource management, and scientific programs that study and protect these specimens, currently known only within the boundaries of the National Park Service,” the government agency explains, adding that the excavations attest to the mission, policies, and programs established under the superintendent's leadership between 1975 and 1993. .