If it seems like cockroaches have been around forever, they nearly have. Check out this 300-million-year-old cockroach ancestor that lived several million years before the world's first dinosaurs emerged.
(Credit: Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum)
A new 3-D virtual model of the insect is described in the journal Biology Letters.
Imperial College London scientists created the model, which you'll view shortly, to show all of the details on Archimylacris eggintoni, which is an ancient ancestor of modern cockroaches, mantises and termites. This insect scuttled around early forests during the Carboniferous period 359 – 299 million years ago, which was a time when life had recently emerged from the oceans to live on land.
This cockroach ancestor was about 3.5 inches long and 1.6 inches wide, so it was a pretty sizable bug even then.
Project leader Russell Garwood, a PhD student from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, said, "The Carboniferous period is sometimes referred to as the age of the cockroach because fossils of Archimylacris eggintoni and its relatives are amongst the most common insects from this time period.