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Insects used camouflage 100 million years ago

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camouflaged larva in amber/Bo Wang, Nanjing

From Eurekalert:

A research team under Dr. Bo Wang of the State Key Laboratory of Paleobiology and Stratigraphy in Nanjing (China) worked together with paleontologists from the University of Bonn and other scientists from China, USA, France, and England to examine a total of 35 insects preserved in amber. With the aid of grains of sand, plant residue, wood fibers, dust, or even the lifeless shells of their victims, the larvae achieved camouflage to perfection.

Some larvae fashioned a kind of “knight’s armor” from grains of sand, perhaps to protect against spider bites. In order to custom-tailor their “camo”, they have even adapted their limbs for the purpose. The larvae were able to turn their legs about 180 degrees, in order to transport the grains of sand onto their back. Others cloaked themselves in plant residue, in order to become one with their surroundings, making them almost undetectable to predators. “It is very surprising how early in evolution such complex insect behavior developed: The larvae had to search actively for suitable ‘camouflage material’, pick it up, and cloak themselves with it”, says Dr. Wang, who, with a stipend from the Humboldt-Stiftung foundation, has been a guest at the University of Bonn several times doing research. More. Paper. (public access) – Bo Wang, Fangyuan Xia, Michael S. Engel, Vincent Perrichot, Gongle Shi, Haichun Zhang, Jun Chen, Edmund A. Jarzembowski, Torsten Wappler, Jes Rust: Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects, Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501918

One obvious problem wit early instances of complex camouflage behaviour is that there is even less time for Darwinian evolution to “naturally select” and evolve it. Naw. Didn’t happen that way.

See also: Bioscience 2010: Problems with evolution of mimicry “huge”

and

Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen

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One Reply to “Insects used camouflage 100 million years ago

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Do these research cooperations CAMOuFLODGE the dictatorship of China?? YES!
    Why so cozy with a dictatorship that denies the rights of man and legal rights of freemen and the right of people to make and control thier own government.
    Should China be boycotted until a free nation? They interfered with south Africa.
    Who is watching these things.
    With all the Bretix stuff i think its on thread a little.

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