It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Fig Wasp fossil shows they are still the same 34 million years on

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 05:57 AM
Here is news of a 34 million year old wasp fossil that proves fig wasps haven't evolved in 34 million years.

An ancient wasp fossil has shown that winning designs are sometimes best left alone.
Evolution has not altered the wasp in 34 million years, scientists discovered.
Three fossil specimens, the oldest examples of their species known, were discovered on the Isle of Wight in the 1920s but wrongly labelled as ants.
A new study of the fossils, housed at the Natural History Museum in London, has now confirmed their true origins.
Dr Steve Compton, from the University of Leeds, who led the research, said: 'What makes this fossil fascinating is not just its age, but that it is so similar to the modern species.
'This means that the complex relationship that exists today between the fig wasps and their host trees developed more than 34 million years ago and has remained unchanged since then.'
Fig wasps are highly specialised and attach themselves to individual tree species, which rely on them to spread their pollen.
Each of the 800 or so modern species of fig tree is pollinated by just one or two species of wasp that ignore other fig trees.
The wasps measure just 1.5 millimetres in length. They have body shapes designed to help gain access to flowers hidden out of sight within the green 'fruits'.
Although figs are thought of as fruits they are technically synconia - closed plant structures containing large numbers of tiny flowers.
Modern fig wasps carry the pollen they collect in special pockets beneath their bodies.
Using advanced microscopy techniques, Dr Compton's team was able to identify pollen pockets on the wasp fossils, and even grains of fig pollen within them.
This showed that 34 million years ago the wasps were carrying out active pollination in the same way they do today.
Further evidence from analysis of the insect's ovipositor, or egg-laying organ, suggested that the wasp and its host fig tree had been evolving together for millions of years.
'Although we often think of the world as constantly changing, what this fossil gives us is an example of something remaining unchanged for tens of millions of years - something which in biology we call 'stasis',' said Dr Compton.
The research is published online in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

I wonder if the same can be said for your common or garden, everyday wasp? 34 million years of disrupting picnics......

[edit on 16-6-2010 by berenike]

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 07:06 AM
I can't wait for this to be misconstrued as a falsification of Theory of Evolution, opposed to evidence of how supremely successful this particular species is, having never encountered environmental stresses severe enough to threaten its survival in its current form.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 06:48 PM
Just re-posting the picture, which I managed to lose from my first post:

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 10:06 PM

For the people who may think of using this as argument for creation.

The very first insects came from the sea and a lot of tiny critters you can still find in a garden under a rock, still resemble those very first. They also still resemble the marine creatures they came from.

That is just what makes them so beautiful.

The insect design was already so complete in the sea that they hardly have to change to walk on land. Their success is striking in two ways. Not because they have evolved into the variety of insects alive today. They were so successful that members of the original design actually survived to this day and age.

They were able to survive a global poisoning of the atmosphere, the crushing depths of the oceans, meteor impacts and of course the hungry jaws of nearly anything big enough to eat them...

In fact if you place the picture next to that of an ant you will see a striking resemblance. Ants are evolved from wasps. Millions of years of evolution caused them losing their wings. Not always tho.Usually once a year the males and queens fly out to start a colony or just to have sex.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 10:09 PM
Reply to post by Son of Will

So you do a complete 180 and use it to promote evolution.

Not to mention that that is a very absurd case to prove evolution.

Posted Via ATS Mobile:

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 10:38 PM
why would an insect that has achieved balance with nature evolve further?
these things live symbioticly with figs. dont fix it if it aitn broke. if anything this proves evolution exists, the wasp and the fig find a partnership that works, adn they flourish, many varations of this probably failed long ago.

[edit on 23-6-2010 by super genius]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 11:12 PM
reply to post by super genius

So what is to say that everything lives with each other and nothing has evolved?

It works both ways.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 06:12 AM
Here is an explanation of how a corn plant 'cries for help' to attract parasitic wasps to save it from an invasion by caterpillars:

A genetic mechanism that enables corn plants to "cry for help" and attract beneficial insects has been clarified by scientists from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena. Corn plants emit a cocktail of scents when they are attacked by certain pests, such as a caterpillar known as the Egyptian cotton leaf worm.

Parasitic wasps use these plant scents to localize the caterpillar and deposit their eggs on it, so that their offspring can feed on the caterpillar. Soon after, the caterpillar dies and the plant is relieved from its attacker. In the case of corn, only one gene, TPS10, has to be activated to attract the parasitic wasps. This gene carries information for a terpene synthase, an enzyme forming the sesquiterpene scent compounds that are released by the plant and attract wasps toward the damaged corn plant. Since this mechanism is based only on a single gene, it might be useful for the development of crop plants with a better resistance to pests (PNAS, Early Edition, January 16-20, 2006).
At least 15 species of plants are known to release scents after insect damage, thus attracting the enemies of their enemies. Scientists term this mechanism "indirect defence". A previous cooperation by the scientists in Neuchatel and Jena showed that indirect defence functions not only above ground, but also below the earth’s surface.

[edit on 24-6-2010 by berenike]

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 06:16 AM
Man, the wasp is truly a perfectly engineered little insect isn't it? Not many animals can boast that they've remained virtually unchanged for millions and millions of years....only the shark, the crocodile, and a handful of other species come to mind right now.

Even though I hate to have to deal with wasps and hornets in and around the house during summer, they are some fascinating little creatures!!

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 06:21 AM
reply to post by mpriebe81

We've had an invasion of flies in the house which have been extremely bold and annoying.

BUT yesterday evening, I had a bunch of bananas lying on a shelf in a shaft of sunlight. Sitting there, washing himself was a housefly. He looked so perfect against the yellow background and illuminated by the sun that I felt a complete rush of love for him, completely forgetting what an extremely irritating little git he'd been throughout the day

I've come full circle from having a complete phobia to appreciating what dear little creatures bugs/insects/ whatever-you-call-them can be. And I've a soft spot for wasps.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 06:24 AM
reply to post by berenike

Yeah houseflies are pretty darn cool when you think about it. Just those eyes themselves are marvelously constructed and serve them quite well!!
Wasps are cool critters, as well as one of my favorites...the bumble bee!! Also Japanese hornets, what amazing looking creatures.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 06:36 AM
Here's an in-depth article about the fig and wasp relationship:

And here's something that just might give me my phobia back (5 most horrifying bugs in the world - including the Japanese Hornet):


[edit on 24-6-2010 by berenike]

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 06:42 AM
reply to post by berenike

This quote from the article really struck me as incredible!!!!
"Amazingly, as a new kind of fig evolves, a fig-wasp corresponding to that new kind of fig appears."

That's just crazy!!! Learn something new every day

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 07:11 AM
That's cool didn't really know that they have been here for so long.

37 million years of the pesky things, but they are one cool insect


posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 07:22 AM
Charles Darwin found, on a trip to Madagascar, the weirdest flower.
The nectar could only be reached with a 15 inch long tung.

He figured that somewhere in Madagascar must be an animal with a 15 inch long tung.

With night vision camera's this animal is captured on tape.
The moth shows it self at 3:30. The flower is shown at the beginning.

Talking about adaptation.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 07:28 AM
reply to post by Sinter Klaas

WOW, never seen that moth before. Star for you, that thing is amazing!!!
Kind of reminds me of the hummingbird moths that I see at night sometimes here in Michigan!

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 07:44 AM

Originally posted by mpriebe81
reply to post by berenike

This quote from the article really struck me as incredible!!!!
"Amazingly, as a new kind of fig evolves, a fig-wasp corresponding to that new kind of fig appears."

That's just crazy!!! Learn something new every day

There's a plot for a story there. Imagine some James Bond-type villain creating some weird plant especially so that people-killing insects will evolve around it. What a way to take over the world
Only those who submit to a special vaccine will survive to be his/her slaves. Err.......... perhaps it's being done already....

Sinter Klaas Thank you for that video- amazing and absorbing. I found a beautiful white moth in the house a couple of nights ago, it had a really furry, fluffy little body - one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

I think it was this one - a white ermine moth:

[edit on 24-6-2010 by berenike]

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by mpriebe81

A hummingbird.

Did you know that hummingbirds do not fly as normal birds do. The have adapted the same kind of flight as insects. That's probably why it remembered you of a hummingbird.

Now watch this one.

and also

Notice the same motion and the same wiggle ?

A perfect example of nature finding the same solution for two entirely different animals.
This process is called covergent evolution.

The next picture is from a moth.

The following of a humming bird.

I did cheat cause the first is actually a hummingbird moth.

The reason for them evolving the same kind of flight is because they both need to hover to get to the nectar. You can't hover in normal flight.

Reply to post by Berenike

Hi beautiful picture you posted.

[edit on 6/24/2010 by Sinter Klaas]

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by Sinter Klaas

It did resemble a hummingbird a bit, but i was actually talking about the hummingbird named for their similarity in appearance to hummingbirds, as well as having a similar diet!
Check the pics, i think you'll see the similarities

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by mpriebe81

Sweet pic

My first one was also the same species of moth. Only it appears only the wings are rich in color or I found one of another sex. Usually only the male is colorful.

new topics

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in