An extinct species of assassin fly that lived during the age of the dinosaurs has been discovered inside a translucent tomb of amber.
A male and a female of the newfound species, now called Burmapogon bruckschi, were preserved in pieces of Burmese amber from Myanmar's Hukawng Valley. The specimens measure less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) in length and are about 100 million years old, researchers say.
B. bruckschi joins more than 7,500 species of assassin flies that are alive today. The insects get their name from their precise and gruesome way of killing: After a mid-flight ambush, assassin flies stab their prey's exoskeleton and inject digestive juices so that they can suck out the liquefied insides like a milkshake, leaving an empty hull behind.
But apparently, these two tiny predators weren't immune to oozing droplets of resin. Insects can become trapped in amber when they are engulfed in resin flowing from trees. Hardened amber droplets can thus provide rare snapshots of prehistoric life — and some of them are surprisingly rich scenes, like a spider attacking a wasp caught in its web.
Previously, the history of assassin flies had been recorded only in limestone fossils. The amber-encased B. bruckschi specimens provide a rare 3D view of the ancient creatures' bodies.
Written By: Megan Gannon
continue to source article at livescience.com