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Raising giant insects to unravel ancient oxygen
Date:10/29/2010

eres. That decrease in tube size with no increase in the overall body size would allow the roaches to possibly invest more in tissues used for other vital functions other than breathing like eating or reproducing. The roaches reared in hypoxia (lower oxygen) would have to trade off their investment in these other tissues in order to breathe.

The next step, said VandenBrooks, will be to look closely at the tracheal tubes of insects fossilized in amber to see what they might say about oxygen levels at various times in the past. These might possibly serve as a proxy for paleo-oxygen levels.

"There have been a lot of hypotheses about the impact of oxygen on evolution of animals, but nobody has really tested them," said VandenBrooks. "So we have used a two-pronged approach: 1) study modern insects in varying oxygen levels and 2) study fossil insects and understand changes in the past in light of these results."


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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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