"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Saturday Science: Wings

I am heartily sick of election post-mortems. Insects are a lot more interesting. The headline for this story sort of says it:

Insects flew 200 million years before any other animal had wings

And that's a long time ago:

The scientists went on to note that the first winged-insects likely came about 400 million years ago. That is a whopping 200 million years before any other organism on Earth acquired wings, and something scientists previously were unable to determine for certain. Currently, the oldest wing fossil that scientists have identified is one that is roughly 340 million years old.

It's not just that they were equipped to fly that early, but get this:

The first insects were found on earth right around the same time as the first land plants were found, according to the scientist who estimated that this took place about 480 million years ago. However, scientists noted that, this date, was nearly 70 million years earlier than the first insect fossil, or the oldest-known insect fossil.

And check out this article. It's focused on Kansas, but it's got some good general information.

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