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New Australian moth is evolutionary wonder?

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Yes, if devolution is a big surprise. Here:

The genus name, Aenigmatinea, (along with its common name) reflects the enigmatic nature of the moth’s morphology. The moth has an odd mixture of physical characters that made it difficult to place within an evolutionary framework: its wings and genitalia showed it to be primitive -– but how primitive?

The most primitive moths have jaws, with one of the first steps in the evolution of advanced moths and butterflies being the development of a tongue. Aenigmatinea has neither – its mouth parts are almost entirely reduced.

The solution to the puzzle was to rely on the moth’s DNA and compare its sequence to potential relatives. The answer was intriguing -– the moth’s closest relatives have a tongue and Aenigmatinea has lost its tongue over time.

So an example of devolution then?

Maybe a non-evolutionary wonder. It is easier to lose a feature than to create one.

See also: New Family of Primitive Moths Discovered on Kangaroo Island

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3 Replies to “New Australian moth is evolutionary wonder?

  1. 1
    Piotr says:

    It’s easy to lose an organ you don’t need.

    They are short-lived: in just one day they emerge from their cocoons, mate, females lay their eggs, and then die.

    Link

    They are like mayflies (which also have only a vestigial mouth and digestive system). No time to feed.

    (BTW, the original article is open access.)

  2. 2
    Joe says:

    Yes, LOSING organs is no problem but getting them is. Unguided evolution may be able to explain the loss but that is about it.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Everything is an evolutionary wonder!

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