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Jan 18, 2018

Growing wings on beetle abdomens provides another clue in the mystery of where insect wings come from

By growing wings on the abdomens of beetles, scientists have come a little closer to solving the mystery of how insects developed their wings in the first place.

The origin of insect wings remains a mystery, in large part because we don’t have any fossils that can tell us about the ancestors of today’s creatures (unlike with many mammals that leave behind bones). “The field of evolutionary development is basically an alternative approach to paleontology,” says Yoshinori Tomoyasu, a biologist at Miami University and co-author of the insect wings study published last week in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Science. “We have a huge gap in fossil record, so the idea is that we try to understand the ancestral state by studying...

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