From “Mysterious Fossils Provide New Clues to Insect Evolution” (ScienceDaily, Aug. 15, 2011) , we learn:
Scientists at the Stuttgart Natural History Museum and colleagues have discovered a new insect order from the Lower Cretaceous of South America.
Though thought to be mayflies,
Coxoplectoptera, however, significantly differ from both mayflies and all other known insects in anatomy and mode of life.
The peculiar larvae, however, are reminiscent of freshwater shrimps. Their lifestyle turned out to be a major enigma: their mode of embedding and certain other characteristics clearly suggest a fluvial habitat. Their unique anatomy indicates that these animals were ambush predators living partly dug in the river bed.
If so, all this raises another evolution conundrum: Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation) obviously didn’t even put today’s life forms where they are. But also, what about these many life forms that have flourished for tens or hundreds of millions of years, with different anatomies and modes of life that were apparently satisfactory to them. And we really don’t know the first thing about how that happens.
See also: The fossil record is proving to be less and less Darwinian as we examine the details.
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