From: Crato Formation, Nova Olinda Member, Ceara, Brazil
Weight: 12.7 Ounces
Dimensions: 4.7 Inches Long, 4.4 Inches Wide, & 0.5 Inches Thick
Insect Dimensions: 1.1 Inches Long, & 0.6 Inches Wide
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108-92 million years ago Lower Cretaceous
The Araripe Basin of Brazil is home to a fantastic array of exquisitely-detailed Early Cretaceous fossils, some of which have been preserved in three dimensions. While the entire formation has until the last decade or so been termed the Santana Formation, David Martill has separated out the slightly older insect-bearing strata as the Nova Olinda Member of the Crato Formation. Quarrying operations for the purposes of obtaining paving stones expose the remarkable insect fauna in much the same way that quarrying for lithographic limestone in Solnhofen has afforded a panoply of wonderfully-preserved Jurassic fossils in Germany. In addition to the many orders of insects, spiders, scorpions, decapod crustaceans, and many plants have been found. Interestingly, to date, no pterosaurs or terrestrial vertebrates have been found, in stark contrast to the overlying Santana Formation deposits. This fine example shows a large example of a member of the Belostomatidae or giant water bugs. This Family of large predatory insects has a good representation in the fossil record of the region. Little material from this treasure trove ever becomes available.