London: A 100-million-year-old cockroach specimen found preserved in amber is part of a new family of extinct predatory cockroaches that hunted at night, scientists say.
The specimen, which was discovered at a mine in Noije Bum, Myanmar, boasts a long neck that allowed it to freely rotate its head.
The prehistoric roach also had long and spindly legs, much like many predatory insects today.
According to the study published in the journal Geologica Carpathica, an analysis of the ancient specimen, named Manipulator modificaputis, suggests that it was a predatory insect, likely pursuing prey at night.
Modern roaches, while largely nocturnal, can be found scavenging from food, looking for anything from sweets to even hair, moldering books, and other decaying matter, 'NatureWorldNews.Com' reported.
According to Peter Vrsansky from the Geological Institute in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Gunter Bechly from the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany, who examined the insect, the specimen comes from the early Cretaceous period, from whence several predatory cockroach-like lineages evolved.
Today, only one of those lineages remain - the praying mantis. Modern mantises have similar legs for careful pursuit, and are actually close cousins to the cockroach, despite how different they look.