30-Million-Years-Old Praying Mantis Is Perfectly Preserved In Piece Of Amber

Embedded in a piece of clear amber, a small praying mantis sits at attention, frozen forever in time. The piece, which stands just over an inch high, was sold through Heritage Auctions for $ 6,000 in 2016. The pristine piece if amber was found in the Dominican Republic.

Heritage Auctions dates the piece in question to the Oligocene period, placing it anywhere from about 23 million to 33.9 million years old.

It is believed that there are 2,400 species of mantis today and most of them live in tropical climates. The earliest fossils we have date back 135 million years. Most of these fossils come from a place that is much colder today: Siberia.