Rare Alien-like Insect Placed In Its Own Scientific Order

By Anne Dominguez , Jan 26, 2017 12:10 AM EST

Among a million of species of insects and millions more that are still undiscovered, there are only 31 existing orders -- but now, there are 32. Scientists found a rare ancient species which led to the creation of a new scientific order. The scary alien-like insect was described to have a triangular head and features unusual enough for it to be a representative of a new species, genus, family and order of insects by itself.

The said alien-like insect was discovered by George Poinar Jr., an expert on plant and animal life forms and a professor emeritus at Oregon State University College of science. It was found preserved in an amber and believed to be about 100-million-year-old. The tiny yet scary-looking insect was possibly living on bark of trees while dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

"I had never really seen anything like it. It appears to be unique in the insect world, and after considerable discussion we decided it had to take its place in a new order," Poinar said according to a press release from Oregon State University. He added that its features don't match any insect species that he knows. But the strangest thing in the discovery was its head, which looks similar to aliens portrayed in fiction movies.

The findings were published in Cretaceous Research. The insect was assigned to the new order --Aethiocarenodea, meanwhile, the species was named Aethiocarenus burmanicus, in honor of the location were the specimen was found. The amber was found in the Hukawng Valley mines of Myanmar, formerly called Burma.

The said alien-like insect has large, bulging eyes. The vertex of its triangular head was located at the base of the neck, which means it can see 180 degrees by turning its head sideways -- a first of its kind among any other known insect. It also has long, narrow, flat body, and long slender legs, making it nimble and fast. It is speculated to be an omnivore and its neck has a unique gland which the researchers believed to secrete predator-repelling chemicals. Its special characteristics helped it survive in the forests of Burma but for some unknown reason, the species became extinct.

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