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October 31, 2010

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Home » Feature » Animal Planet

Amber insect clues

THE discovery of a trove of insects and arachnids preserved for millions of years in amber raises new questions about how long India was isolated before it joined the Asian continent.

In a study released last week, researchers said the insects, including bees, termites and flies, had been entombed in the vast Cambay deposit in western India for around 50 million years. Scientists had long assumed that for a time India was an isolated island-continent, and thus expected the insects found in the amber would differ significantly from those elsewhere in Asia. But the insects were not unique, according to the study appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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