Two insects found in the 1970s on an English farmyard are believed to have been feeding on locally growing bogwood around the time Egyptian pharaohs were waiting for their iconic tomb chambers to be erected, although you’d not be able to guess that at first glance.
A pair of thumb-sized beetles spotted perfectly preserved in a piece of English bogwood may look as though they died just recently, but in fact they are as old as Egypt’s pyramids, new research concluded.
Their radiocarbon dating showed that the two oak Capricorn beetles, named for their long curved antennae, which bear a striking resemblance to the horns of the alpine ibex (Capra ibex), date to around 3,800 years ago:
Strictly speaking, the bog beetles have been exhibited by the NHM since the late 1970s, after a farmer discovered the dead species on his farm in East Anglia, well-known for its swamps. According to an earlier Live Science report, these waterlogged bogs that dominate Englands eastern coast, have low-oxygen, highly-acidic conditions known for preserving organic matter, including dead bodies.
According to Barclay, cooling temperatures associated with climate change have gradually made the species go extinct in England, as it normally thrives in warmer conditions. So, global warming may mean a return of the beetle, which can fly, albeit not so well, to Britain’s insect world, when conditions again become favourable.
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