When it comes to evolution for some people the jury is still out. But if you look at the science, evolution does exist. In fact, even the Catholic Church has admitted that evolution does happen. Their only dispute is that humans didn’t evolve from another species. But that’s an argument for another day. Today we are talking about the evolution of insects, their wings, flight and other features. So lets get down to it shall we?
Did you know fossil record shows that insects existed 390,000,000 years ago. That’s a hell of a long time ago, and even more surprising is the fact that some have hardly changed. Some like cockroach have changed very little and some like the dragonfly have changed a lot. So what does this mean?
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When species evolve over time they adapt to the environment around them. Evolution ensures, to some degree, that they can survive. If the species is flourishing relatively well, then there’s no need for a structural change in their biology, and they will remain the same. You can see where we are going with those nasty little roaches can’t you. They have managed to evolve into an ideal form relatively early in their existence, so the need to change does not exist. It’s even been said that they are one of the few living creatures that could survive a nuclear catastrophe.
But other insects have changed a lot. This is usually due to a need to adapt or go the way of the dinosaurs. One notable example is the dragonfly. The prehistoric version of the little winged insect that we have today was a true giant with a wingspan larger than most birds. Clearly the ones alive today are vastly different, being much smaller in size. This creature had a need to evolve into what we see today.
Other insects have changed in other ways too. Some can withstand the freezing arctic regions, and others can live for decades. The main benefit for the survival of insects in their ability to breed at a rapid rate. The fast breeding allows for a more rapid evolutionary process, resulting in a better chance of the species survival.
A bonus fact about the evolution of insects.
Over one million species of insects have been classified, but scientists believe there are between 2,500,000 to 10,000,000 different insect species on Earth. So on the extreme end of things, we only know of about ten percent of all living insects.