The First Creatures to Develop Wings Were Insects About 400 Million Years Ago

November 8, 2014 4:27 PM

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More than 100 researchers, part of an international team, have produced a definitive map of the evolution of insects. To understand how the creatures are related, largely unknown until now, reveals their real economic, medical and ecological importance. The results of the study which appeared in a late issue of Science, reconstructs the insects “tree of life” and answers outstanding questions on the origins and subsequent evolution of the most diverse group of creatures on Earth.

Insects first appeared about 500 million years ago, at around the same time as the first plants started to take root on land and when the Earth’s environment became stable, according to Dr David Yeates, the director of the Australian National Insect Collection. As soon as the first plants started to...

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