They first appeared 407 – 396 million years ago. Looking, guess what? Just like modern insects. Oh yeah, they found wingless insects – but they were INSECTS! Complete with head, thorax and abdomen, six legs, just like the wingless insects around today.
Springtails,wikibristletails and the first true insects first appear in the fossil record in the Devonian, 410-354 mya.
The first winged insects, the mayflies, grasshoppers and cockroaches, did not appear until the Carboniferous, 354-298 mya (spiders and scorpions also evolved at this time). Beetles, flies, true bugs, booklice, thrips, stoneflies, webspinners and lacewings (and frogs) all appeared in the Permian, 298-251 mya.
Here’s a marvellous thing. Springtails. What’s a springtail?
wikiMost species have an abdominal, tail-like appendage, the furcula, that is folded beneath the body to be used for jumping when the animal is threatened. It is held under tension by a small structure called the retinaculum and when released, snaps against the substrate, flinging the springtail into the air. All of this takes place in as little as 18 milliseconds.
Got that? No?
It’s a gadget, a spring, under the abdomen of the insect, designed to fling the insect into the air to escape its predators. Maybe it jumps for the sheer fun of it, who knows.
But such a mechanism cannot have evolved bit by bit. Any missing part, and the insect is dead – because it can’t get away.
So how did the spring evolve? It clearly didn’t.
Now hear the presumptuous stupidity as the sacred cow moos:
also evolved at this time
Just look at that incredible list above. Here it is again:
See? No evolution has taken place for 400 million years – and the insect was perfect from the start: a genuine springtail, like those today.Springtails are attested to since the Early Devonian. The fossil from 400 million years ago, Rhyniella praecursor, is the oldest terrestrial arthropod, and was found in the famous Rhynie chert of Scotland. Given its morphology resembles extant species quite well, the radiation of the Hexapoda can be situated in the Silurian, 420 million years ago or more.
Here’s the grudging admission: ‘Given its morphology resembles extant species quite well’ simply means it looks just like the modern ones.
So, evolution? What evolution? M-o-o-o-o!