Thursday, June 30, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Can insects reach the size of humans ?


Posted on Monday, 22 October, 2012 | Comment icon 35 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: NZ Department of Conservation

 
Giant insects have been featured in science fiction films for years, but how big can they actually get ?

Researchers aren't exactly sure what limits the growth of insects. One possibility is that their exoskeletons may not be strong enough to support anything over a certain size, another is that if insects were too large they would make for too convenient a meal and that a smaller size helps them to avoid predators.

The most likely theory however is that insect size is limited by the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Fossils dating back 300 million years show that insects in the distant past were significantly larger than their modern counterparts most likely because there was a lot more oxygen in the air at the time. The more oxygen - the larger the insect and vice versa. There simply isn't enough oxygen in the atmosphere in the present day to support insects beyond a certain size.

"Support for this theory comes from the fact that about 300 million years ago, many insects were much larger than they are today."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (35)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #26 Posted by The Unseen on 26 October, 2012, 4:13
I wouldn't like human sized spiders... Oh god... that gives me an idea. EDIT - I know why they don't grow bigger. In my biology classes (several years ago) I was taught that they have open (or it may have been closed) circulation systems and so alot of oxygen would have to be in the environment in order for them to grow to massive proportions. You are one smart person,I went to a pestcontrol class to get my licence,and that was one part of the lesson,If they had an open circulation system the oxygen would allow them to grow in such a manner that they would look at us like meals,not that ticks ... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Realm on 26 October, 2012, 4:40
Just gotta have bigger windshields.
Comment icon #28 Posted by The Unseen on 26 October, 2012, 6:00
I just killed a cockroach. Squashed it with my foot. Glad I didn't have to resort to hand to hand combat. You are so right.My hand to hand training only showed me how to fight humans,dont know what would happen if the thing i was fighting had six arms.Eeeeeeee No Way.And I think our small arms would only make them a little angry and not to mention a can of raid would only make matters worse buy them asking for more.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Jinxdom on 26 October, 2012, 9:20
Great now all I can picture is mad scientists making earth in to an even worse(I say worse but love the movie) version of Starship Troopers.
Comment icon #30 Posted by MidKn13ght on 26 October, 2012, 20:49
I thought i saw a show/documentry about i wanna say pre-dinosaur earth evolution type thingy, and it said that insects and aracnades where the size of buses due to the oxygen to carbon dioxide or methan ratio.... or maybe it was about how an alien planet would form with methan..hmm
Comment icon #31 Posted by ad hoc on 3 November, 2012, 23:02
engineer them some lungs! that'll be good.
Comment icon #32 Posted by bugwatcher on 18 December, 2012, 16:48
Thank goodness nature prevents bugs growing to rule the world! This is down to the scaling law first recognised by Galileo. He identified that if the diameter of a sphere is increased twofold, the surface area is multiplied by 4 and the volume by 8. This means that elements of a body are not scaled up by the same amount. In other words a bug would become too heavy for its legs if it grew to say the size of a human.
Comment icon #33 Posted by Tsa-La-Gie Oyate on 18 December, 2012, 18:00
Evolution does strange things to make a species cope with changing environments around them, like in prehistoric times insects are able to adjust to larger body masses. I don't expect a resurge in primal reverse evolution within the next million years or so, if humans are around to witness first-hand the growth of insects and arthropods to average human size. The thought of it is interesting, but downright frightening. LOL!
Comment icon #34 Posted by g00dfella on 18 December, 2012, 18:47
Actually some insects were smaller back then, like cockroaches for example...today we have the biggest in history. A bee the size of a car would have a tough time trying to pollinate and gather honey.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Taun on 18 December, 2012, 19:25
Fire ants are bad enough as is... could you imagine a nest full of those if they were the size of poodles?...


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5709624
259235
160992

 
Man swims in 1,500-gallon pool of Coca-Cola
6-30-2016
The remarkable stunt saw a man jump in to a pool filled with several thousand bottles of fizzy drink.
Disclosure advocate releases NORAD UFO files
6-30-2016
Victor Viggiani released the documents to the public during the Alien Cosmic Expo event on Saturday.
Scientists succeed in making their own lava
6-29-2016
A team from the State University of New York at Buffalo created their own magma as part of an experiment.
Ghostly hand turns up in 116-year-old photo
6-29-2016
A photograph taken of workers at a linen mill over a century ago appears to contain an unexpected extra.
Other news in this category
Hordes of spider crabs gather near Melbourne
Posted 6-17-2016 | 9 comments
An Australian aquatic scientist has captured footage of the crustaceans congregating in Port Phillip Bay....
 
Giant lizard tries to break in to man's house
Posted 6-16-2016 | 19 comments
A man in Thailand returned home on Wednesday to find a huge monitor lizard trying to force its way in....
 
Electric eels can jump out and attack you
Posted 6-7-2016 | 8 comments
A new study has found that electric eels are able to jump out of the water to electrocute predators....
 
Explorer finds giant earthworm in rainforest
Posted 6-6-2016 | 14 comments
Entomologist and TV host Phil Torres encountered the 4ft invertebrate during a tropical rainstorm....
 
Snails make decisions using only two neurons
Posted 6-4-2016 | 9 comments
The humble freshwater snail manages to engage in complex decision-making using only two brain cells....
 
'Baby dragon' hatches out in Slovenia cave
Posted 6-2-2016 | 14 comments
An extremely rare form of cave-dwelling salamander has emerged from its egg in Slovenia's Postojna cave....
 
Giant alligator filmed walking on golf course
Posted 5-31-2016 | 87 comments
The massive reptile took golfers completely by surprise as it casually strolled towards a nearby lake....
 
Huge sea sponge thought to be world's largest
Posted 5-29-2016 | 4 comments
Divers have discovered an ancient, minivan-sized sea sponge in an ocean ridge off the coast of Hawaii....
 
Giant squid may grow larger than a school bus
Posted 5-27-2016 | 9 comments
A new study has suggested that giant squid may actually grow to be much larger than previously believed....
 
Woman stalked by swarm of bees for 24 hours
Posted 5-25-2016 | 11 comments
Carol Howarth was shocked to discover that a swarm of 20,000 bees had followed her car all the way home....
 
Australian town is invaded by 100,000 bats
Posted 5-24-2016 | 14 comments
Batemans Bay in New South Wales has become so overrun that a state of emergency has been declared....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ