Monday, October 5, 2009

Carboniferous Insect Fossils

The following insect fossils are on display in Paris, France at the Muséum National D'Historie Naturelle Jardin Des Plantes Paléontologie et Anatomie Comparée.

UPDATED: Thanks to Howard from Canada for his comment and research. Also, I would like to thank Dr. Sam Heads, a paleoentomologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, for providing detailed comments about the images on this post. His observations are in quotes throughout this posting. Find out more about Dr. Heads research at this site:

I believe all these insect fossils are from the Carboniferous Period. This insect fossil looks like some sort of dragonfly. It was called Mischoptera nigra.

"Mischoptera nigra Brogniart, 1885 is one of the haustellate
insects assigned to the extinct palaeodictyopterid order
Megasecoptera. This specimen is also from the Carboniferous
deposits of Commentry, France."

Another dragonfly fossil called Aeschna speciosa.

Either this fossil was not identified or I did not take a picture of its label.

This dragonfly was called Nannogomphus gracilis and looking at its label was probably found somewhere in Germany.

"Nannogomphus gracilis Meunier, 1896 is a dragonfly of the
family Nannogomphidae from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen
Limestone of Bavaria, Germany."

The next two pictures are of posters hanging above the cases where the insect fossils were on display. If you click on them, they should expand to show more detail.

An unidentified insect fossil that may or may not have had a label. The same is true for the next two images after that.

"In addition, the penultimate two images of this post appear to be
primitive roachoids (stem-group Dictyoptera) related to modern
cockroaches and are probably from Commentry."