Sunday, October 23, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Prehistoric 'butterfly' fossils discovered

Posted on Friday, 12 February, 2016 | Comment icon 4 comments

Lacewings had eye-like wing patterns similar to modern butterflies. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Edwin Dalorzo
A type of insect that looked very much like a modern butterfly was common during the Jurassic period.
Known as Kalligrammatid lacewings, these prehistoric flying insects were remarkably similar to their modern counterparts and even possessed familiar wing markings still seen in butterflies today.

The discovery was made thanks to two well-preserved fossils recently unearthed at a dig site in China which, for the first time, have made it possible for scientists to fully appreciate the extent to which these prehistoric winged insects resembled modern butterflies.

"Poor preservation of lacewing fossils had always stymied attempts to conduct a detailed morphological and ecological examination of the kalligrammatid," said scientist David Dilcher.

"Upon examining these new fossils, however, weve unraveled a surprisingly wide array of physical and ecological similarities between the fossil species and modern butterflies, which shared a common ancestor 320 million years ago."

Scientists now believe that lacewings, just like their modern counterparts, would have sustained themselves by visiting plants and lapping up the nectar using their long tongues.

There is even evidence to suggest that, like today's insects, lacewings would have helped to maintain the reproductive cycle by transporting pollen from one plant to another.

"Here, weve got coevolution of plants with these animals due to their feeding behavior, and weve got coevolution of the lacewings and their predators," said Dilcher.

"Its building a web of life that is more and more complex."

Source: Discovery News | Comments (4)

Tags: Jurassic, Butterfly

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by coolguy on 6 February, 2016, 3:30
Thats pretty cool thanks for posting
Comment icon #2 Posted by FateAmeniableToChange on 12 February, 2016, 18:14
China seems a very interesting and productive place for palaentologists, and in this latest discovery for paleobotanists, a lot of the recent new dinosaur discoveries heve been occuring in that part of the world, and now finds like this.
Comment icon #3 Posted by NoNickname90 on 12 February, 2016, 20:50
Is anyone noticing how those wings look? Notice how the inner area looks like an owl, of some sort, but on the edges, it looks like it's resembling some snake, or reptile. If that image is a picture of the found fossils, then what if that design is close to how dinosaurs look? Oh?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sundew on 13 February, 2016, 14:18
Is anyone noticing how those wings look? Notice how the inner area looks like an owl, of some sort, but on the edges, it looks like it's resembling some snake, or reptile. If that image is a picture of the found fossils, then what if that design is close to how dinosaurs look? Oh? Imitation of predatory animals by insects, especially butterflies and their larvae is quite common. My favorite is the Atlas Moth, a giant silk moth from Asia, it's closed wings resemble a cobra about to strike, interesting considering cobra are also from that part of the world. Many other species resemble snakes, an... [More]

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Secret Nazi base discovered in the Arctic
Russian scientists have located a secret Nazi facility that was abandoned before the end of World War II.
'Air bombs' could explain Bermuda Triangle
Scientists have come up with a new theory that could help to explain the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.
Expansion of the universe 'may be constant'
A new study has cast doubt on the idea that the universe is expanding at an increasingly rapid rate.
Did the ancient Scots eat roasted rodents ?
Forget haggis - Neolithic Scots living on the islands may have once had an appetite for the humble vole.
Featured book
By Guy Lyon Playfair
A look at the story of Peggy Hodgson and her four children who, between 1977 and 1979, were at the center of one of the most terrifying poltergeist cases ever documented.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
The bubble motorcycle
Posted 10-23-2016 | 2 comments
The MythBusters test a bizarre motorcycle design to see if it is more aerodynamic.
Do we have two brains ?
Posted 10-22-2016 | 6 comments
It stands to reason that we only have one brain - or do we ? AsapSCIENCE investigates.
How much water is there in the sea ?
Posted 10-21-2016 | 0 comments
Over 97% of all the water on planet Earth is contained within the oceans.
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Witnessing hyperspeed?
10-13-2016 | United States
Auntie doppelganger
10-13-2016 | United States
Men in Black encounters
10-13-2016 | Canada
Black magic
9-27-2016 | Mineral Wells, Texas
Crying mother
9-27-2016 | Centrol Mexico
Red-faced monster
9-14-2016 | Lox Florida
Locked door
9-14-2016 | Ho Chi Minh city/Vietnam
The visit
9-9-2016 | West Palm Beach, Fl
Translucent silent UFO
9-9-2016 | Brisbane/Australia
Sleep paralysis and strange activity
9-1-2016 | Tarpon Springs, FL

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ