It is a great honor for any naturalist to have a species named after them, and David Attenborough may already have a few under his belt, his latest addition being a real beauty. A rare fossil that froze almost the entire beetle, after much deliberation, has been found as a new-to-science species of frog-legged beetle.
Recovered from what was once the Eocene Green River Formation in northwestern Colorado, the pattern of arrests has been dubbed the beauty of Pulchritudo Attenborough, or Attenborough, about 49 million years after her death. Frank Krell, Denver Museum of Nature & Science Senior Curator of Entomology, said in a statement, “No one gives the beauty and charm of nature better than Sir David.”
“This fossil, unique in its preservation and beauty, is a fitting example of honoring such a great man.” Krell and co-author Francesco Vitali, curators of the Museum of National History at the Luxembourg Invertebrate Zoological Museum, worked together to identify the new species in a research paper published in the Paper in Paleontology.
Perhaps the most notable thing about the specimen is the perfect preservation around it. The Beatles are fierce critics, some existing species are able to survive being driven by a tank, but in general, they rarely act in the best fossils.
After its expiration, P. Attenborough took Eosin into the waters of the Green River Formation before it sank into the mud. While most insects tend to separate at this stage, their remains are preserved as separate wing cases; this particular dead insect is true. Why? Especially thanks to the favorable conditions that are found in the deposit known as lagerstätten, contains a type of fine silt that is very well preserved and sometimes provides almost complete fossils, like the beauty of Attenborough.
The Eocene Green River Formation is one such deposit and also a dab hand in the preservation of the fossilized animal Cream de la Cream. “It’s one of the most beetle fossils ever found,” Creel said. “The pattern is preserved in unparalleled clarity and contrast, which makes it one of the best-preserved beetle fossils. It certainly deserves its name.” Although the species is not a new fossil for science, it has been on display at the “Prehistoric Journey” exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since 1995.
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