Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stag beetle from over 2,500 years ago found in nearly complete shape

A stag beetle from about 2,500 to 2,800 years ago was found preserved almost in full shape at the Akitsu archaeological digging site in Gose, Nara Prefecture, the prefecture-run Archaeological Institute of Kashihara said Tuesday. Although parts of insects have been found at archaeological sites before, it is rare that one preserved almost completely has been discovered. The 6.3-centimeter-long male sawtooth stag beetle possesses the same physical characteristics as such beetles today.

‘‘It’s an important discovery in reproducing the environment back then,’’ an official of the institute said. ‘‘We can also compare it with modern species through DNA and other analyses.’‘

The stag beetle was found in mud attached to the roots of a Japanese evergreen oak tree which had grown near along what remains of a brook. The insect was likely able to avoid bacterial corrosion as it was held nearly in a vacuum state amid mud believed to have flooded in.

‘‘This is a miraculous discovery,’’ said Yasuhiro Nakatani, a senior staff member of Kashihara city’s museum of insects.

The stag beetle will be exhibited at the archaeological institute’s museum in Kashihara from Wednesday.

Source from : http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/stag-beetle-from-over-2500-years-ago-found-in-nearly-complete-shape

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