Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/20/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Chinese insect could blend into surroundings by resembling a stick

Many insects take on chameleonic aspects when they need to hide from predators. The "stick insect" can disguise itself by resembling a broken branch. Scientists have now uncovered the world's oldest known example of a stick insect in China, which waited 126 million years to be discovered.

One Malaysian variety of the stick insect is commonly known as Chan's megastick. It's the world's longest insect at about 22 inches long.

One Malaysian variety of the stick insect is commonly known as Chan's megastick. It's the world's longest insect at about 22 inches long.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/20/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Stick insect, chameleonic, discovery


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An international team of scientists declared this week that they have discovered the fossil of an insect whose appearance mimicked that of a nearby plant, the oldest-known stick or leaf insect that used such natural trickery.

There are roughly 3,200 known species of stick and leaf insects, which are members of the insect order known as Phasmatodea, derived from the ancient Greek word for "phantom."

Light a virtual candle -- by going here!

Sometimes referred to as a walking stick or a walking leaf, the species is among the most striking creatures in the insect world. This variety develops unusual shapes to camouflage themselves as vegetation to avoid detection by predators.

Some of this species have flattened, leaf-like shapes, with appropriate color. Others possess cylindrical bodies shaped like sticks or like bark.

One Malaysian variety, commonly known as Chan's megastick, is the world's longest insect at about 22 inches long.

The recently discovered insect, named Cretophasmomima melanogramma, was found in Liaoning province in northeastern China. The fossil was part of the Jehol rock formation that has yielded many stunningly detailed fossils of creatures like early birds and feathered dinosaurs.

Researchers realized that the insect looked remarkably like the leaf of a plant that grew in the same place at the time that was a relative of the Ginkgo tree.

The fossil also showed wings with parallel dark lines that, when the bug was in the resting position. This seemed to produce a tongue-like shape that could hide its abdomen. The plant had similar tongue-shaped leaves marked with multiple lines.

Researchers think the insect evolved to look like these leaves, at one point turning green and concealed itself from predators by mingling with the foliage.

Females of this insect were estimated at about 2.2 inches long and the males a bit smaller.

"Cretophasmomima melanogramma is one of the grand-cousins of today's stick and leaf insects," paleontologist Olivier Béthoux of the Center for Research on Paleobiodiversity and Paleoenvironments  says.

Cretophasmomima melanogramma lived during the Cretaceous, the last of the three time periods that make up the Mesozoic Era, sometimes called the Age of Dinosaurs. The warm, wet environment held a large array of plants, dominated by conifers but also featuring relatives of the Gingko, cycas and others.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Green

The mighty blue whale would be just a snack to this giant mega shark Watch

Image of The massive Megalodon shark could have preyed on baleen whales, now the largest animals in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study from the Florida Museum of Natural History reveals that the ancient and giant shark Megalodon-which could reach sizes in upwards of 40 feet-may have preyed on early baleen whales. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The paper also suggests a new date ... continue reading


Dinosaur with freakishly big arms even more amazing than believed Watch

Image of The creature's name, Deinocheirus mirificus means unusual, horrible hands.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paleontologists had long been mystified by the dinosaur known as "deinocheirus mirificus." Since the 1960s, only the huge arms of the prehistoric thunder lizard had been discovered. As more bits and pieces of the dinosaur have been brought to light, it appears ... continue reading


Antarctic ice reaches record level, but is global warming to blame? Watch

Image of Ice is expanding, but scientists warn it is a sign of global warming.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Antarctic ice sheets have spread farther than any other time in modern, recorded history, according to scientists monitoring their spread. Scientists are unsure of exactly why the sheets are growing but that global warming likely has a role. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Where's the global warming? Tempratures remain flat Watch

Image of Global warming? Really Mr. Connolly?

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to climate change skeptics, the Earth's temperature has "plateaued" and global warming has taken a hiatus. Virtually all records seem to agree with this assessment, so what gives? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Is the sky falling or not? From the looks ... continue reading


Holy Bat Cave Batman: Miao Room cavern in China, world's largest could accommodate jumbo jet Watch

Image of The cave would comfortably fit a Boeing 747, if you could get one in there - and is located about 325 feet underground. The cave also contains stalagmites as tall as 148 feet, which are among the world's biggest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The huge Miao Room cavern have been declared by a wide margin as the world's largest cave. Measuring 380.7 million cubic feet in volume, the cave achieved recognitions as the world's largest thanks to British explorers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Stanford scientists link California drought to global warming, NASA says 'not so fast' Watch

Image of California's farmers are asking people to pray for rain.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Stanford scientists say they have linked California's epic drought to global warming, although NASA scientists say they disagree. Regardless, the Golden State faces the most intense drought in recorded history with vast impacts on the state's residents. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Half the world's animals went extinct over past 40 years Watch

Image of Northern lapwings, pictured, an once-familiar sight on British farmlands have fallen 60 percent and grey partridges have halved in number.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The news for the Animal Kingdom is uniformly grim: Half of the world's animals went extinct over the past 40 years, all of it due to the fault of humanity. D4estruction of habitat, unlawful hunting and the destruction of the environment has sent countless ... continue reading


A new weapon in the war against Climate Change. How moderates and radicals are joining forces Watch

Image of More militant environmentalism is being fazed out as radicals and moderates band together and turn to civil disobedience as an effective weapon.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New York saw the largest climate-related march ever, where hundreds of thousands participated before the United Nations held a summit on climate change. The next day, hundreds were arrested in Manhattan as part of a demonstration against Wall Street, which blames ... continue reading


New hope for Monarch butterfly migration: butterflies seen entering Mexico Watch

Image of Butterflies have been sighted in the northern border state of Coahuila. This is slightly earlier than their usual arrival time when they come back in October from the United States and Canada, where they spend the summer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Much dismay surrounded the scarcity of Monarch butterflies last year. The colorful black-and-orange creatures had dropped to their lowest level in 2013. There is new hope, Monarch butterflies have been seen entering Mexico earlier than usual, which foretells ... continue reading


Mystery video: Remains of an ancient lizard - or just a rock? Watch

Image of Several professors and experts in paleontology have expressed their skepticism that the find is genuine, and say it might be a hoax.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Experts are still unable to identify exactly what the mystery crocodile-style object found buried in a Siberian river after a week of speculation. Fishermen supposedly bumped into the head of the "rock" last week. It has been confirmed by scientists to be the ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter