fossil catches ancient bugs in the act

The title of this post is the headline for a piece in today’s Seattle Times (November 7, 2013, pg. A5). “Scientists say a fossil recovered in southeastern China depicts two insects locked in sexual congress roughly 165 million years ago, the oldest such relic ever discovered.”

The insects have been identified as an “extinct species of froghopper that exhibited striking similarities to their modern relatives.”

That is rather amazing as the insects are approximately 1½ inches in length, not something that jump[s out at you unless you are looking for it. But the time period, 165,000,000 years ago—the Jurassic Period in the Mesozoic Era, the era of the early dinosaurs becoming the beasts that ruled the world for 135,000,000. Wow!

As for the newspaper article itself, it was written by Monte Morin for the Los Angeles Times. Cleanly and clearly composed, the only thing that sticks out is the somewhat archaic term, “sexual congress.” But, what can he say: “Two bugs f*cking their brains out”?

Just to show us all that scientists do have a mushy side to them, the researchers have christened the insects as Anthoscytina perpetua, which is derived from the Latin for ‘eternal love.’

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .

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