world's oldest insect

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Feb 12 09:11:40 CST 2004

Dear All,
      Here's an interesting news story about a VERY old insect.  Perhaps it will lead to clues to solving the old problem of insect origins (an abominable mystery just as much as angiosperm origins).  I am personally quite convinced insects evolved from crustaceans, but still very uncertain if this happened just once (a single clade of insects) or if some of the primitive flightless insects (like collembolans) evolved from a separate group of crustaceans.  Anyway, here's the link to this particular story (plus a little snippet that summarizes it):

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AP).   A tiny fossil discovered in the 1920s and then largely ignored has been identified as the oldest known insect, scientists report.  The discovery pushes back the origins of Earth's most prolific life form some 20 million years.    The new analysis of the 400-million-year-old specimen also suggests that it may have had wings, hinting that winged insects, and insects in general, arose much earlier than had been presumed.

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