Jurassic-era bug rediscovered outside Fayetteville Walmart
An entomologist's dreams came true at Walmart.
- But he didn't know it for years.
What happened: An insect long thought to be extinct was discovered in 2012 by Michael Skvarla on the side of a Fayetteville Walmart.
- Skvarla was a University of Arkansas doctoral student at the time.
Why it matters: The bug hadn't been seen in North America for more than 50 years, and Skvarla's find was the first known sighting in Arkansas.
- Its discovery may be part of a larger story about biodiversity and a changing environment, according to Skvarla.
What they're saying: "I thought it looked interesting, so I put it in my hand and did the rest of my shopping with it between my fingers."
- "I got home, mounted it, and promptly forgot about it for almost a decade."
- Skvarla, now director of Pennsylvania State University's insect identification lab, recounted the story for the school's media office in February.
The big picture: NWA is home to other threatened and endangered species, notably the blind Ozark cave fish found around I-49 development and the Arkansas darter in the Springwoods area in Fayetteville, near the Sam's Club.
What's next: Skvarla has preserved the specimen for further research.
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