Paleotrickery: A lengthy lineage for leaf-mimicking insects | Science News



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Paleotrickery: A lengthy lineage for leaf-mimicking insects

10:48am, January 3, 2007

For at least 47 million years, some insects have escaped predators by looking like foliage and moving like swaying leaves, a new fossil find suggests.

Many creatures elude predators by blending into their surroundings. But the 3,000 or so species in an insect group called the phasmids take camouflage to an extreme, says Sonja Wedmann of the Institute for Paleontology in Bonn, Germany.

Most modern-day phasmids have bodies and legs that look like sticks and twigs, but at least 37 known species are shaped like the tree leaves that they eat or frequent during daylight hours, she notes. To complete the deception, phasmids occasionally move back and forth

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