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September 27 2012

300-million-year-old baby bugs see 'em now in 3-D

Researchers have made 3-D reconstructions of two 300-million-year-old insect nymphs by putting the rare fossils under an X-ray.

The scientists have not pinned down the precise identity of either bug, or matched them with their adult counterparts, but they say the scans offer the most complete picture of baby insects from this prehistoric Paleozoic Era.

Both insects are just over 0.8 inches (2 centimeters) long and their fossils, which date to the late Carboniferous period (part of the Paleozoic Era), were found at Montceau-les-Mines in France. The researchers, led by Russell Garwood, of the U.K.'s University of Manchester, published their reconstructions online Sept. 25 in the journal PLoS ONE.

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