COCKROACH

125 million years

Period: Cretaceous
Location: Crato Formation, Araripe Basin, Brazil

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One insect that has remained the same for millions of years is the cockroach. Fossil roaches 320 million years old have been found. The impact of cockroaches on the theory of evolution has been described thus in Focus magazine: In theory, various elements of pressure such as changing environmental conditions, hostile species and competition between species should lead to natural selection, the selection of species advantaged by mutation, and for these species to undergo greater change over such a long period of time. YET THE FACTS ARE OTHERWISE. Let us consider cockroaches, for example. These reproduce very quickly and have short life spans, yet they have remained the same for approximately 250 million years. ("Evrimin Cikmaz Sokaklari: Yasayan Fosiller" [Cul-de-sac of evolution: Living Fossils], Focus, April 2003)

Detailed Pictures

Living Example

SI0282