Scientists first discovered the remains of a snail with well-preserved soft tissues in Burmese amber. The found gastropod was attributed to the cyclophoride family, and radioisotope analysis indicated that it is about 99 million years old. An article describing the snail was published in the journal Cutaceous Research .
Industrial mining of amber was conducted in Burma (now Myanmar) in the XIX – first third of the XX centuries, and then resumed in 2000. During this time numerous remains of arthropods and plants were found in the mines. As for gastropods (gastropods), it is very difficult to find their ancient representatives: hard parts (shells) come across most often, but the soft tissues of the body are poorly preserved.
For the first time, they were able to be described by scientists under the leadership of Lida Xing from China Geological University. The body length of the found snail is about six millimeters, and the shell size is a little less than five, which indicates that the individual is very young. Due to the age, the species of the snail is difficult to determine, but analysis of the operculum indicates that the gastropod can be attributed to the Cyclophoridae family ( Cyclophoridae ), which modern representatives are common in the region.
The slightly elongated shape of the body of the snail found, according to scientists, indicates that, once in amber, she tried to escape. The fact that the gastropod was alive at the time of conservation can also explain why the soft tissues are preserved so well.
The snail was attributed to the late Cretaceous: it is about 99 million years old. Together with her, another snail was also found in a piece of amber, but its remains were preserved poorly.
Reptiles are also found in amber. For example, scientists recently described the remains of a skeleton of a snake cub, which fell into amber during the late Cretaceous: it is assumed that this is the oldest serpent ever found.