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300 MY old Cockroach Fossil Found


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Giant cockroaches were not only living in your
kitchen long before you ever moved in, they were alive millions of years
before the dinosaurs and were big enough to have made even a Tyrannosaurus
rex jump.

Scientists said on Wednesday they had found the largest-ever complete
fossil of a cockroach. The 300 million-year-old fossil is so complete that
the team at Ohio State University can make out the veins on its wings and
the bumps on its body.

The roach lived during the Carboniferous period, when Ohio was a giant
tropical swamp, Cary Easterday, a graduate student who helped study the
fossil, said in a statement.

``Normally, we can only hope to find fossils of shell and bones, because
they have minerals in them that increase their chances for preservation,
but something unusual about the chemistry of this ancient site preserved
organisms without shell or bones with incredible detail,'' Easterday said.

The 3.5 inch-long (9 cm) insect known as Arthropleura pustulatus was so
well preserved that Easterday could see its legs and antennae, folded
around its body, as well as mouth parts.