Devon beetle - the oldest insect world


02/08/2012

The remains of an insect found by paleontologists in the Upper biozone Belgium may belong to one of the oldest insects on our planet.

This fossil invertebrate called a group of American and French scientists Strudiella Devonica, was found in one of the quarries the Belgian province of Namur. It is considered to be one of the first fully preserved insects early Paleozoic, which is confirmed by the results of studies on the molecular level.

Andre Nel of France’s National History Museum, said that strudielly had three pairs of legs, long antennae, detached head, abdomen and chest. On the abdomen, scientists have counted ten segments. The triangular jaw like mouthparts of certain insects. Age fossil animal, which reached a length of eight millimeters, is 365 million years old.

Unfortunately for researchers, the integrity of the instance is not the best, so scientists are still hesitant to take it to the class Insecta. The problem is that the science of insect species that existed at that time, virtually unknown. "We have only two copies of the Scottish Devonian" - says Nelson.

There are still a few isolated instances, which reaches the age of 400 million years, but after there is a gap in the history of insect known to science as "a space hexapod." This period lasts until the middle of the Carboniferous period, 330 - 300 million years ago, when wet and warm woods begins to appear a lot of the most diverse forms of life. "In the current period of abundance of dragonflies, spiders, cockroaches and grasshoppers, and time of appearance of the earliest examples of been a big gap - said paleontologist from France. - But it was in this period begins to form a variety of insects."

So, find Strudiella devonica is a kind of "missing link" in the annals of insects. However, the specific findings do not allow poor preservation of fossil. "For a more precise conclusions, you need a copy of a well-preserved part of the oral appendages," - said William Scheer, a member of the American College of Hampden-Sydney.

Shire added that, despite the fact that insect wings are not preserved, details of the structure point to the similarity of the winged larvae with modern cockroaches and grasshoppers. According to the agency APF, this individual is somehow in the Devonian period fell into a swamp teeming with ancient shrimp, and there drowned, miraculously avoiding predators.


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