New three dimensional images of 305-million-year-old insects, including a prehistoricÂ roach relative, have just been unveiled.
The images, published in the journal PLoS ONE, suggest that roaches and their predecessors haven’t changed all that much over the years. You can see all of the bodily details, including the little legs that must have skittled around back in the pre-dino day.
Both of the insects are members of a group called theÂ Polyneoptera, which includes roaches, mantises, crickets, grasshoppers and earwigs. The juvenile bugs fossilized in rock, so it’s a mini tech miracle that they could be imaged.
To accomplish that, Russell Garwood of the University of Manchester’s School of Materials and his colleagues placed the fossils in a CT scanner. They then took over 3,000 X-rays from different angles, creating 2,000 slices showing the fossil in cross section. From these slices the researchers created 3D digital reconstructions of the fossils.