Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/20/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Chinese insect could blend into surroundings by resembling a stick

Many insects take on chameleonic aspects when they need to hide from predators. The "stick insect" can disguise itself by resembling a broken branch. Scientists have now uncovered the world's oldest known example of a stick insect in China, which waited 126 million years to be discovered.

One Malaysian variety of the stick insect is commonly known as Chan's megastick. It's the world's longest insect at about 22 inches long.

One Malaysian variety of the stick insect is commonly known as Chan's megastick. It's the world's longest insect at about 22 inches long.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/20/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Stick insect, chameleonic, discovery


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An international team of scientists declared this week that they have discovered the fossil of an insect whose appearance mimicked that of a nearby plant, the oldest-known stick or leaf insect that used such natural trickery.

There are roughly 3,200 known species of stick and leaf insects, which are members of the insect order known as Phasmatodea, derived from the ancient Greek word for "phantom."

Light a virtual candle -- by going here!

Sometimes referred to as a walking stick or a walking leaf, the species is among the most striking creatures in the insect world. This variety develops unusual shapes to camouflage themselves as vegetation to avoid detection by predators.

Some of this species have flattened, leaf-like shapes, with appropriate color. Others possess cylindrical bodies shaped like sticks or like bark.

One Malaysian variety, commonly known as Chan's megastick, is the world's longest insect at about 22 inches long.

The recently discovered insect, named Cretophasmomima melanogramma, was found in Liaoning province in northeastern China. The fossil was part of the Jehol rock formation that has yielded many stunningly detailed fossils of creatures like early birds and feathered dinosaurs.

Researchers realized that the insect looked remarkably like the leaf of a plant that grew in the same place at the time that was a relative of the Ginkgo tree.

The fossil also showed wings with parallel dark lines that, when the bug was in the resting position. This seemed to produce a tongue-like shape that could hide its abdomen. The plant had similar tongue-shaped leaves marked with multiple lines.

Researchers think the insect evolved to look like these leaves, at one point turning green and concealed itself from predators by mingling with the foliage.

Females of this insect were estimated at about 2.2 inches long and the males a bit smaller.

"Cretophasmomima melanogramma is one of the grand-cousins of today's stick and leaf insects," paleontologist Olivier Béthoux of the Center for Research on Paleobiodiversity and Paleoenvironments  says.

Cretophasmomima melanogramma lived during the Cretaceous, the last of the three time periods that make up the Mesozoic Era, sometimes called the Age of Dinosaurs. The warm, wet environment held a large array of plants, dominated by conifers but also featuring relatives of the Gingko, cycas and others.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Green

Glacial retreat may halt Chinese dam projects Watch

Image of Tibetan glaciers supply hundreds of millions of people with water, and feed into rivers that run through China, India and much of Southeast Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Tibetan plateau has become warmer over the past 50 years than at any stage in the last millennia, a Chinese newspaper reported. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This report, published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, ... continue reading


Humans are doing WHAT? Watch

Image of A glacier in the Alps, one of the largest in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study released on August 14 reports that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the dominant cause of glacial melting in the Alps and Andes mountains. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study, published in the journal Science, reveals that human emissions ... continue reading


NEW SPECIES: 'Graveyard' reveals 47 skeletons of new species of pterosaur Watch

Image of What separates the latest find from others of their species is that the pterosaur Caiuajara dobruskii had a large bony crest on the top of its head that changed from being small when it was young, to large and steep in adults.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A colony of previously unknown flying reptiles that lived around a desert lake in Brazil around 100 million years ago have been uncovered by scientists. The fossilized remains of at least 47 pterosaurs with wingspans ranging from two to eight feet, were ... continue reading


The cute and entertaining manatees may have a change of status: From 'endangered' to 'threatened' Watch

Image of Reaching weights as high as 3,500 pounds, manatees make a home where there are plentiful sea grasses and freshwater from estuaries and slow-moving rivers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Visitors to Florida frequently come across blubbery animals called manatees. Resembling walruses, the comical creatures can be found along the heavily populated Florida coast. Now - there is a movement to reclassify the manatees status from "endangered" to the ... continue reading


Catholic parish accused of animal cruelty, remains silent Watch

Image of It is very likely this is a distressing event for the animal and while it may have been viewed favorably in the past, such activities are increasingly frowned upon today. The lack of statement from the parish is disconcerting. (Image via Jordan Turner.)

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An incredible commotion is brewing around a parish church in Stephensville, Wisconsin where activists have targeted a 44-year-old event that they say is cruel to animals. St. Patrick's Church holds an annual pig wrestling event were pigs are allegedly wrestled and ... continue reading


DOOMSDAY PROPHECY: 'There will be no water by 2040 if we keep doing what we're doing today' Watch

Image of Hydroelectric energy needs are even larger than those demanded by agriculture, researchers said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers from Denmark's Aarhus University, Vermont Law School and the U.S.-funded Center for Naval Analyses Corporation have come out with a chilling prophecy. Due to heightened demand for drinking water and energy needs, "There will be no water by 2040 if ... continue reading


What happened to all the bugs? Insect population is down by 45 percent in just 35 years Watch

Image of We rarely think of insects as being little more than everyday pests. Flies interrupting a breezy day, ant invading a picnic, crickets disrupting the quiet of an early evening.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

We rarely think of insects as being little more than everyday pests. Flies interrupting a breezy day, ant invading a picnic, crickets disrupting the quiet of an early evening. There are less bugs to worry about these days -- and scientists say this is good ... continue reading


Beware of fluffy! Those scary dinosaurs may have actually been quite comical to look at Watch

Image of Most dinosaurs may have had feathers, a new study suggests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The discovery of several 150-million-year-old fossils in Siberia indicates that a majority of dinosaurs were either covered with feathers or had the potential to grow feathers, a new study suggests. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Until this study-published in ... continue reading


California drought likely to worsen as El Nino observed weakening Watch

Image of A sign intended to build public support for water rights for farmers now has a new significance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bad news for California is about to get worse. The state, wracked with drought, is eagerly anticipating the formation of a strong El Nino event in the Pacific, which would bring significant rainfall to the region. However, the El Nino may not develop as strongly as ... continue reading


Bats are the super animals, science says! New study reveals that not only can these flying pest eaters see sound, but they can also see invisible light Watch

Image of Bats can see with polarized light, and may use it to navigate with, a new study says.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Polarized light may be a useful tool for bats to navigate, and the greater mouse-eared bat-Myotis myotis-is the first mammal known to navigate using polarized light. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Polarized light is light waves that are parallel to each other ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter