In order to break the cycle of poverty, we must first start with the heart. Catholic Online School is something very special, providing FREE Catholic Education to anyone, anywhere. Learn more about the Catholic Online School
Help us create new hope with your donation. This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to support Catholic Online School. Support Catholic Online School
Oldest known example of chameleonic insect found after 126 million years
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
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.
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."
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.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed. That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
As humans, we live longer lives than most creatures on Earth. Tortoises and trees can live much longer than we can, but we are among the ... continue reading
As the Yellowstone supervolcano shows evidence it remains active and is building towards eruption, scientists have confessed they have no ... continue reading
In a series of shocking images, a Honduran island is besieged by plastic pollution, and nobody is sure what to do about the problem. ... continue reading
Californians have been warned to expect a major quake soon. But how soon is unclear, since the event is forecast between now and the next ... continue reading
Pope Francis has issued a stinging rebuke against those who deny that human-caused global warming is real. He called the notion a "perverse ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis: Our Lady reveals everyone has a place in the Church
- NO, you may NOT venerate the apparitions in Medjugorje
- Daily Readings for Thursday, December 14, 2017
- St. John of the Cross: Saint of the Day for Thursday, December 14, 2017
- Could it be an alien spacecraft? Scientists listening today for ...
- Daily Reading for Friday, December 15th, 2017 HD Video
- Bioscience firms admit trafficking illegal fetal body parts - How ...
- Is Facebook ripping apart human civilization? HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, December 14th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 HD
- Attempted terror attack fails in Manhattan as pipe bomb explodes early HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way