Sunday, 12 February 2012
Jurassic Cricket Knew How to Sing Like Today’s Crickets
A modern cricket. Image courtesy of Roberto Zanon, Wikipedia.
Darwinian evolution requires change but fossils often suggest that the desired change does not happen. Many animals do not change into anything else even in extremely long periods of time.
The fossil of the cricket Archaboilus musicus provides a fresh example. Assumed to be 165 “million years” old, the male cricket knew how to attract females by the same method modern crickets use.
According to BBC Nature,
“Just like modern bush crickets - also known as katydids - the Jurassic insects produced music with their wings. A "plectrum" on one wing was dragged along a microscopic comb-like structure on the other.”
In other words, crickets have not changed their habits since the time of T. rex.
Last week, an international research team published its findings in the web version of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). A photograph that accompanied the study revealed the cricket’s comb-like instrument.
Gill, Victoria. 2012. Jurassic cricket's song recreated. BBC Nature (6 February).
Gu, Jun-Jie & al. 2012. Wing stridulation in a Jurassic katydid (Insecta, Orthoptera) produced low-pitched musical calls to attract females. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (6 February).