Everlasting Love?

Ahhh, yes…good to know that some things never really change.

The image above depicts insect sex as it occurred 165 million years ago (during the mid-Jurassic Period) in northeastern China. This fossil was the main attraction of a November 6, 2013 article published in the open access journal PLOS ONE. The unfortunate couple is a pair of froghoppers, a type of insect (a true bug!) that is still around today. Many people know them as “spittlebugs”, because the nymph stage often conceals itself with a glob of bubbly plant sap that resembles nothing so much as a big spitwad on the stem of a plant. Other than being an excellent opportunity to publish an article that features this recently-discovered fossil of copulating insects, the main point of the article was to point out that the reproductive anatomy and choice of mating position have not really changed over the last 165 million years. In other words, once you get it right, why would you need to change it? If the missionary position worked for my ancestors during the Jurassic Period, then by golly it will work for me! Although other examples of mating insects have been located in the past, this is apparently not such a common thing, as you might imagine. There are some fascinating examples of insects in amber, apparently. Anyhow, not the most stunning news, but still something interesting for your afternoon.



Category(s): Entomology, Science Stuff

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