Thursday, November 29, 2012

A trick locked in stone

I've chosen to blog about a fossil again, because of camouflage in which a fly masquerades as a plant 165 million years ago (image above). An extinct 1.5" (38.5mm) scorpionfly (Juracimbrophlebia ginkgofolia) that mimicked the leaves of a tree much like a ginkgo (Yimaia capituliformis) was found in northeastern China's Inner Mongolia region. Paleoentomologist Dong Ren at Capital Normal University in Beijing and his colleagues realized the mistake 1 1/2 years ago and published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The mere occurrence of this type of mimicry approximately 40 million years before the appearance of flowering plants is the most important implication," said Conrad Labandeira, paleoecologist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.
Bugs, but no spiders:

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