Amber tomb of ‘dancing’ wasp and delicate flower also hides a gruesome secret

A tiny flower that blossomed 30 million years ago still lingers today in near-perfect condition, preserved inside an airless amber tomb with only a wee wasp — also frozen in place — for company. 

Finding this insect and bloom suspended close together offers clues about their relationship in the tropical ancient ecosystem that they once inhabited, according to a new study published June 16 in the journal Historical Biology (opens in new tab). The bloom belongs to a previously unknown flower species in an exceptionally rare group, and hidden inside one of its spherical seed pods was a secret stowaway: the developing larva of a minuscule fly, which may have been intended as a future meal for the wasp’s young.

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