100-Million-Year-Old Courtship Behavior Preserved In Amber
Geo Beats - Monday, 20 March 2017
Insects, like humans, have developed some rather splashy means of getting the attention of the opposite sex; however, some small, flying creatures have been at it a whole lot longer. Insects, like humans, have developed some rather splashy means of getting the attention of the opposite sex. However, some small, flying creatures have been at it a whole lot longer. Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences examined three roughly 100-million-year-old male damselfly specimens encased in amber and found evidence of courtship rituals. The insect fossils are the oldest known examples of mating rituals among insects of their kind. According to a press release about the findings, the prehistoric species, “has spectacular extremely expanded, pod-like tibiae, helping to fend off other suitors as well as attract mating females, increasing the chances of successful mating. The new findings provide suggestive evidence of damselfly courtship behaviour as far back as the dinosaur age.” Similar physical traits are known to exist in more modern damselfly species, suggesting the insects’ skills in wooing the ladies have been advancing and adapting for millions of years.