Oldest insect
Rhyniognatha hirsti
United Kingdom (London)

The oldest insect ever found is the fossilised Rhyniognatha hirsti, which lived in what is now Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, approximately 410 million years ago - that is 30 million years older than any other known insect fossil! The specimen was first described in 1926 by entomologist, Robin John Tillyard (Australia), who, on finding it to be unremarkable, left it to the vaults of London's Natural History Museum, UK. It remained there for approximately 80 years until entomologists, David A. Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel (both USA) re-studied the fossil using modern microscopes and discovered the creature's classic insect features, results of which they published in Nature on 12 February 2004. Although no wings survive, its triangular jaw structure is similar to those of winged insects, suggesting that insect flight was 80 million years older than previously thought. The fossil remains at the Natural History Museum, London, UK.

Previously, the oldest known insect fossil was a pair of wingless insects aged 379 million years old, found in New York state and Canada.