25 million years

Period: Oligocene
Location: Dominican Republic

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Although termites resemble ants, they actually possess very different characteristics and abilities. Termites have been living in colonies for millions of years and have come down to the present day with their structures totally unchanged. Termite fossils 25 million years old are one of the proofs of this. All the termites that have ever lived during the intervening millions of years have been identical to those living today. Just like worker termites that lived 25 million years ago, those living today engage in altruistic behavior, feed the larvae, soldiers and queens, and build nests many meters in size—despite being sightless. The characteristics of present-day termites also apply, without exception, to all termites that have ever lived. The termite fossil in amber in the picture is 25 million years old.

Detailed Pictures

Living Example