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New parasitic wasp species named after alien breast crushers



Here is an illustration of a female Xenomorphia resurrecta parasitic wasp from the new study.


Thomas van de Kamp / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Close-up photography often makes insects look like tiny, strange aliens.

And now a team of German scientists has decided to make the connection between insects and aliens legitimate by identifying newly discovered parasitic wasp species the Xenomorphs from the sci-fi horror movie Alien

In the movie Alien, a baby crawls Breast Burst from actor John Hurt 's torso in an explosion of blood and guts. The surviving movie characters realize to their horror that humans are perfect hosts for aliens to lay their eggs.

A new study, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, shows that parasitic wasps in the real world have used similar scary tactics millions of years ago.

Parasitic wasps host other insects, just like the aliens, and lay eggs in them or other insects.

As the young wasps grow, they eat the hosts' bodies from within, often breaking through the bellies of their hosts, as well as the alien bastions.

For the study, scientists from Germany examined a total of 1

,510 fossilized fly dummies from the Paleogene period found in France.

Fossil evidence for insect host-parasitoid interactions is considered extremely rare, so ideas about the evolution of parasites have been assumed to be accepted.

Using synchrotron X-ray imaging, scientists discovered four new parasitic wasps hiding 55 mineralized fossils of fly larvae, 30 to 40 million years old.

"It is the first time that we have definite evidence of a developing parasitoid wasp in its host in the fossil record," Thomas van de Kamp, an entomologist from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and lead author, told the New York Times on Tuesday.

The German crew that identified the specimens of the newly discovered wasp species officially named two of the species Xenomorphia resurrecta and Xenomorphia handschini

In the spirit of the aliens, it may be time to attack these wasps from outer space.

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