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Fossil reveals an ancient 'Frankenstein' insect

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posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 04:08 AM
Weird headline, huh? It's not mine though. But it seems like "frankenstein" covers the description of the insects after reading the article (linked below). According to the article, the particular insect in question had the wings and middle-body segments of a dragonflys, wing veins arranged like a mayfly and a praying mantis' forelegs. Sounds like an interesting combination, doesn't it?

"It is a very strange mix of characteristics that are otherwise only known for the unrelated insect groups," said one of the researchers to discover this new group of insects, Gunter Bechly, a paleontologist at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany.

From two adult and about 30 larval fossils that came from the Brazilian fossil deposit and are now contained in collections around the world, the researchers created a new order — a broad category that can contain many species — called Coxoplectoptera. This newly named group of insects is long gone; it has no modern descendants, and the fossils date back 120 million years to the early Cretaceous period.

Source: Fossil reveals an ancient 'Frankenstein' insect

Furthermore, the article claims the find can offer a clue to the debate of the origin of insects' wings. That is if it started out as "stiff outgrowths from plates on the back of the thorax, or midsection, or are insect wings derived from mobile, leg-like appendages?" Sounds to me like it's an important find.

They also seem to be pretty confident that species like this is long gone, phew! I wouldn't want any weirder insects trying to chew off my little finger or suck my blood in the summertime, and the article states that the insect in question appears to have been carnivorous. Glad it's long gone, aren't you?

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 04:29 AM
Man I hate bugs, yes I am definately glad this one isn't around.

I jump and shriek like a little girl if I get one on me!

Not counting ants of course. Bugs...*shudders*.

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 04:48 AM
reply to post by Droogie

Wow, sounds like Michelle Bachman in insect form, I would hate to see that thing up close.

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 05:21 AM
reply to post by BoneMosaic

Sounds like you've got a case of raging insectophobia, which is inherent in all women, but in rare cases also in men.

reply to post by Ray1850

You might be right. Maybe the scientists were wrong, and in fact the entire tea-party movement is the descendants of this species of bugs. Joking of course, relax.

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 05:56 AM
I love insects and I LOVE fossils!! So this is uber cool!

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 06:29 AM
reply to post by Droogie

Hey, not all women are afraid of bugs. I seem to remember a baseball player recently running around like a little girl because a praying mantis landed on him. The same bug I kept as a pet as a child...

But in all seriousness, thanks for the post. Quite interesting. I'm surprised it isn't related to a Cicada. It looks like a cross between the adult and nymph form of the bug.

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by glitch88

That story is hilarious, I hope it was televised.

You're right about the cicada, it does look very similar to it, interesting find!

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 10:50 AM
reply to post by Droogie

Actually it was. I saw it on the evening news after it happened. Here's a news article about it with a video:

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 10:59 AM
I have to wonder if the larva could be undergoing metamorphosis and that might help to explain the weird mix of features? I admire insects their adaptability

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 12:15 PM
Cool insect! Even cooler fossil. I bet it took ages of painstaking work to carve away the excess rock to expose such delicate features. I wish that there was a size marker on the photos or a reference in the article. This bug at a half inch long would be a nice snack for a fish, at 3+ inches long it would be an eater of small fish. Big difference.

It is amazing that their wings started as growths on their back, but used dna from their legs.

Bugs outside are really neat to study, bugs inside are candidates for a

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 12:26 PM
I guess "Frankenstein Insect" is a lot friendlier a headline than, "Insect Murder Beast from HELL!"

Got to admit, old mother evolution had a sense of humour back then, "Let's use those wings, that torso and... oh f*ck it, let's just make a flying tarantula that farts fire and has acid for blood!"
edit on 16-8-2011 by PW229 because: Bloody typos.

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 12:28 PM

Originally posted by twinmommy38
Cool insect! Even cooler fossil...

I don't know how much work it must have been to unearth it and clean it to avoid damage. But I'm sure it's not an easy gig, considering how small utensils and instruments they use. You're make a good point regarding the size.

According to a wikipedia article the picture in the article in the OP is of a larvae of the species. But when they're grown, the wingspan can get to 28-29 mm (1.1-1.2 in) and the body length 35-50 mm (1.4 - 1.6 in). Still large enough to cause major damage to an exposed artery


posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 12:46 PM
reply to post by Droogie

Thank You so much for that link! I had looked at the articles update date and just didn't think that there would be much information available elsewhere given how recent it was.

With new forms of insect life being discovered all the time, maybe they will find something that evolved from this design inside a researchers bug-trap in the Amazon. Sure seems to tick all the boxes for a successful nasty critter.


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