The 300 Million year old fossil is from the Carboniferous Period. Paleoichnologists say it is likely to be an ancestor of the may fly. This is the oldest known full body impression of a flying insect ever discovered.
According to National Geographic News, fossil hunters found the imprint excavating the woods behind a shopping mall in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Finding a specimen of this quality “is like winning the lottery,” said study leader Richard Knecht, a geology student at Tufts University.
This is such a valuable find because the nature of insect bodies. They’re usually not preserved well due their soft and fragile bodies. Scientists tend to find only the remains of insect wings because they are not easily digested by predators.
This 3 inch, ancestor of the may fly made this fossil with a near perfect impression by landing in mud for a brief second before flying away. More information and the study can be found on the oldest flying insect can be found at the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.