Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Rare cricket family sheds light on extinct Jurassic species' acoustics

Date:March 16, 2017
Source:University of Lincoln

World-first research into a rare family of insects will help scientists understand how the common bush-crickets we are familiar with today developed their highly specialised acoustic functions.

Findings of the new study by sensory and evolutionary biologists at the University of Lincoln, UK, in collaboration with teams in Canada and France, have been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the new multidisciplinary research sheds light on the very early evolutionary stages of the sound generating organs in 'orthopterans' (bush-crickets and their related species) -- the largest group of acoustically active insects on the planet.

The study takes a detailed look at a small and rare group of orthopterans, called 'grigs', which are the sole remaining living family of an ancient super-family of crickets called 'haglids'. Until now, most of our scientific knowledge about haglids has been derived from fossilised remains, which are known to date back to the Jurassic period at least.

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