Here’s a photo of a 300 million year old fossil of a Damselfly that I found in the Mazon Creek area (of Illinois). Mazon Creek is world famous for the soft bodied fossils of animals and plants from the Pennsylvanian Period.
The entire piece is a little over 6 inches wide. The Damselfly is toward the lower right section, is facing right, with its hind-end abdomen (on the left, tilting down below the wings). If you look closely at the fossil, under the head to the right, you can see little fossilized legs; these legs were (apparently) kicking at the time when the insect became entrapped in mud or sediment (hence the darker impression under the head from the kicking/struggling). There are sections with Pennsylvanian foliage, also fossilized on the piece.
I mentioned the fossil in the comment section of Jerry Stolarski’s blog… and he requested that I post a photo of it. So here it is…
Below is a photo of Damselflies in a mating ritual. Note that, after millions of years of evolution, their abdomens are a lot thinner and streamlined. Why would that be advantageous? Well, it could enable them to fly better… and it would prevent their great enemy from getting a lot of extra nourishment… thus keeping their enemy’s population down!
Below: Their archenemy not getting as much nourishment 300 million years later! (I’ll post some pics of spiders in 55 million year old Baltic Amber in the future.)
Great post Thomas. Appreciate the display of the fossilized Damsel Fly.
this is wonderful tom, fabulous photos and a great story about finding the fossil … i love that feeling of life going on and on through the ages …. and despite global warming it wont end soon 🙂
Fascinating and beautiful are the damselflies.
That’s a really nice find. The fact that there’s some flora on the plate also makes it that much cooler. I love combo pieces.
Yes… I love combo pieces too! They are incredibly rare!
Hey that’s a cool fossil. Very cool. The preservation is very good. Wonder what that is below the plant on the left.
Thanks mflahertyphoto! Below the plant on the left is another fragmentary plant. Of this fossil… I also have the other (negative) half. It is not quite as nice as the one that I took the photo of.
Fascinating and beautiful– loved the piece and photos!!
Thank you, Stockdalewolfe! Fossils rock! 🙂