Largest fossil cockroach found: Site preserves incredible detail

rs about what caused such extraordinary details to be preserved at the site.

Easterday said the mine first caught scientists' attention because of the plants that were preserved there, including the earliest known conifer in the Appalachian Basin.

He obtained the cockroach and other fossils in 1999 with the assistance of Gregory McComas, an avid fossil collector and geology graduate of Youngstown State University in Ohio. McComas discovered the fossil site in 1979, and named it the "7-11 Mine" because it is located at the intersection of Ohio State Routes 7 and 11.

When Easterday compared the fossil cockroach from the 7-11 Mine to cockroaches living in the tropics today, he found them similar. Though the fossil cockroach is about twice as big as the average American roach, some modern roaches in the tropics are known to grow to four inches or bigger.

Since the fossil plants and animals lived at a time when a drought was rapidly drying out their ancient swamp, Babcock and Easterday hope further study of the 7-11 site will reveal how these organisms coped with their changing environment.


Contact: Cary Easterday
Ohio State University

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