The Splay-Footed Cricket’s Giving Darwinists a Spot of Bother

Rare insect fossil reveals 100 million years of evolutionary stasis – February 3, 2011  Photo: A fossil found in northeastern Brazil confirmed that the splay-footed cricket of today has at least a 100-million-year-old pedigree. Credit: Hwaja Goetz

Researchers have discovered the 100 million-year-old ancestor of a group of large, carnivorous, cricket-like insects that still live today in southern Asia, northern Indochina and Africa.

The new find, in a limestone fossil bed in northeastern Brazil, corrects the mistaken classification of another fossil of this type and reveals that the genus has undergone very little evolutionary change since the Early Cretaceous Period, a time of dinosaurs just before the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana.

The findings are described in a paper in the open access journal ZooKeys.

“Schizodactylidae, or splay-footed crickets, are an unusual group of large, fearsome-looking predatory insects related to the true crickets, katydids and grasshoppers, in the order Orthoptera,” said University of Illinois entomologist and lead author Sam Heads, of the Illinois Natural History Survey.

“They get their common name from the large, paddle-like projections on their feet, which help support their large bodies as they move around their sandy habitats, hunting down prey.”

Although the fossil is distinct from today’s splay-footed crickets, its general features differ very little, Heads said, revealing that the genus has been in a period of “evolutionary stasis” for at least the last 100 million years.

Other studies have determined that the region where the fossil was found was most likely an arid or semi-arid monsoonal environment during the Early Cretaceous Period, Heads said, “suggesting that the habitat preferences of Schizodactylus have changed little in over 100 million years.”

More information: The paper, “On the Placement of the Cretaceous Orthopteran Brauckmanni groeningae From Brazil, With Notes on the Relationships of Schizodactylidae (Orthoptera, Ensifera),” is available online.

Provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (news : web)

See Also: Pelican Fossil Poses Evolutionary Riddle; Why, They Haven’t Evolved, Not Even a Little

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5 comments for “The Splay-Footed Cricket’s Giving Darwinists a Spot of Bother

  1. GeologyRocks
    February 6, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Don’t be ridiculous… this discovery in no way presents a problem for evolution. Have you even read the paper? The authors clearly state that this specimen belongs in a distinct species (and an extinct one at that!) which does differ from all modern species. What they prove, is that the genus is really old (100 million years at least)… nowhere in their article do they say that it hasn’t evolved. Anyway, since when has stasis been a problem for evolution? Have you read Eldridge & Gould’s 1972 paper on punctuated equilibrium? Stasis is a perfectly normal part of the evolutionary process!

  2. Power Point Paradise
    February 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Excuse me… but are there any “Creationists”, Ex-Darwinists, Intelligent Design-ists out there, that would like to spar with this dear Darwin Cultist and follower of Scientism? I really don’t have the urge, nor the time to get into all their contrived little theorems and gainsay each and every self-sustained little strand in their web of deception….. Hello? Anyone? No? No one? …. (deafening silence)

    Sorry sir! There seems to be nobody out there who likes to spar with you. I guess we are all too busy defeating the Global Warming scam, the New World Order scam, the 65 million year old Dino scam, the Monsanto scam, the War on Terror scam, the War on Drugs scam, the Vaccination scam, the “Democracy and Human Rights” scam, the Alien scam, the Bail Out scam, the Oil spill scam, the Honest Reporting Mainstream Media scam, the Population explosion scam, the Abortion & Eugenics scam, the Collectivist Totalitarian People Power scam, the “intl. Banksters love you” scam, etc. etc, to worry about one little Splay Foot Cricket which hasn’t changed in a 100 million years, like the Pterosaur that was shot down in 1864 that hadn’t changed in “65 million years”, nor the Coelacanth primate fish that was thought to be extinct even longer, that was still swimming off the coast of Africa, nor the “long extinct” “Dinosaur” Wollemi Pine Tree discovered growing in Australia’s outback, nor….(Nor the Pelican fossil that poses another evolutionary riddle;
    Why, they haven’t evolved, not even a little! Just like spiders and octopi, lamprey’s and bees Why did this “evolutionary process” seemingly freeze? The fossil record shows fig wasps and crocodiles unchanged How could such an “inexorable process” become so deranged? Neither ants, bats or cockroaches have changed an iota
    Of “beneficial mutations” did Darwin fail to gets its quota?
    Scientist’s were “surprised” to find mammal hair “unevolved”?
    How will macroevolution’s evolving, non-evolving problem be solved?
    Will these constant discoveries give the “tree of life” a jostle?
    Or will Darwinist’s have to call everything alive “living fossils”?
    The “extinct” coelacanth; the ancestor of land animals was crowned
    But it’s another evolution riddle ‘cause its still swimming around!
    The “trade secret” of evolution revealed by a Darwinist apostle
    But they still go on “snipe hunts” for transitional fossils!)

    And on and on and on, it goes…. It’s OK! You have your religion and we have ours! You believe the “simple cell” (more complicated than a complex chemical factory!) came from an explosion, a rock, and some primordial soup! Great! Worship what you like. We believe in freedom of religion here. Just please don’t call your fantastic Genesis myth… Science!
    So seeing there is no one itching to debate with you, this will be the end of this line of comments. For any further information on Intelligent Design, please watch the “Expelled” movie of Ben Stein, on our home page. You might get convicted about how Science is being expelled and persecuted out of the higher halls of learning of yesteryear, that have now become the Ministry of Politically Correct Truth, in your Brave New World Order, where Science is verboten! Sad, sad, sad. I sincerely hope that you will see the Light some day, sir.

  3. Power Point Paradise
    February 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Ah Mr. “GeologyRocks” sir.
    Maybe you can help us. Are you the one perhaps that can answer our mysterious mystery question in our article “The Geological Strata Mystery, Where did all the dirt come from?” Please go ahead if you feel called and happen to know the answer, because we are tickled pink to hear that explanation. Thanks in advance.

  4. GeologyRocks
    February 7, 2011 at 3:03 am

    “I really don’t have the urge, nor the time to get into all their contrived little theorems and gainsay each and every self-sustained little strand in their web of deception”

    Funny how you don’t have the time to actually respond to the scientific support for stasis being an integral part of the evolutionary process… what you term a “contrived little theorem” (again, I refer to you the peer-reviewed article on punctuated equilibrium by Niles Eldridge and Steven Gould, 1972; and again ask if you have actually read the article you feel qualified enough to comment on?)… but you seem to have plenty of time to then spew forth no less than 471 words of nonsense about your noble quest to defeat a whole range of imagined ‘scams’ designed and executed by an unidentified enemy that are so evil that they must be scientific types! You throw up a smoke screen, sir, in order to avoid actually discussing the questions at hand… I did not ask you about climate change, abortion, eugenics, vaccination or current global conflicts… I asked if you had ever actually read any of the scientific articles you seem so willing to critique.

    On another note, I find your personal attack on me very offensive. However, I must give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you yourself took offense to my use of the phrase “don’t be ridiculous” in my original comment. For this, I apologise… this was not directed at you personally, though I realize that this may have seemed to be the case. I respect your beliefs, and appreciate that you respect mine. However, you cannot then at the same time, so openly and vehemently criticize evolutionists (or “Darwin Cultists” or whatever you want to call them) on your website. By taking this approach, you are being slightly hypocritical… it’s okay for you to bash evolution, but it’s not okay for evolutionists to argue back? If you wish to run a website advocating Intelligent Design, then you should be willing to engage in debate with evolutionists… you start the argument and cannot hide behind a smoke screen of rhetoric when someone takes exception to something you have written.

    You should know that I myself am in fact a Christian – always have been – and have no problem reconciling my faith with evolution, physics, chemistry or any other branch of the sciences. Science is not my religion, and religion is not my science. The two are separate. Please do not fire personal insults at me when you have not met me and don’t know anything about me.

    As for your question regarding strata (“The Geological Strata Mystery, Where did all the dirt come from?”) I would strongly recommend you read through the excellent text book by Prof. Boggs called “Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy” (3rd edition)… this is a tour de force of the field and includes a really interesting treatment of sedimentary processes… particularly the concept of ‘accommodation’ and its relationship to subsiding basins etc. and the relationship between sediments and their source rocks, which may provide some insight into the questions you ask in that article. Surface processes are fascinating… complex interaction between the physical properties of rocks, climatic processes, hydrology and gravity.

  5. Power Point Paradise
    February 7, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Dear GeologyRock,

    I am glad to hear of your apology for the “don’t be ridiculous” [it didn’t hurt :) ] and that you are a Christian! Great! Does that mean you have received Jesus Christ personally in your heart? [who quoted & believed the Books of Moses, by the way, complete with Creation, Noah, Ark, Flood, etc. in it, saying “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me!“) You received Him as your Saviour? Wonderful! Then we should be family!

    I didn’t attack you “personally”. I know nothing about you. I called you “this dear Darwin Cultist and follower of Scientism.” We as Christians are now also considered cultists, and so are Darwinists” IMHO. So you are twice a cultist! Sorry if that offends you. I guess I could have said “Darwin religionist” or perhaps “believer”, for it IS a religion after all. I don’t only say so, but lots of scientists say so, who highly despise the Neo-Darwinist claim that only Neo-Darwinists are Scientists, and those who believe in ID are not! That is so arrogant, as Evolution is a meta physical belief! You may deny that, but it doesn’t make it any less. And you believe in it, don’t you?

    But as I said, I have “no time to get into all their contrived little theorems and gainsay each and every self-sustained little strand in their web of deception”, and therefore I changed the subject to matters that really matter in my eyes.
    It is like debating “Global Warmistas”, who also claim that THEY are the scientists, and those that don’t “believe” it, are not, and “the debate is over”, and “there is a consensus”, and bla bla, while there is NO consensus, and the debate is roaring around our ears, but they’ve got the ear and support of the mainstream media, and the financial elite funding, etc. And so THEY look like the victors, as the “deniers” lose their jobs!
    But if you’d like to know more about that, you can read all the many articles of the Global Coolers at who say it a lot better than me. But it is virtually impossible to speak with the AGW cultists, as they believe that CO2 is the cause of “Climate Change” and a danger, whereas we see it as a benign gas that could help us grow more food for the starving world! And so AGW skeptics can never see eye-to-eye with them.

    Well guess what, debating with Neo-Darwinists is the same story, as you can see from Ben Stein’s movie FULL of interviews with SCIENTISTS-not even Christians or Creationists–that have been laid off from their jobs, lost funding, etc. for even just mentioning Intelligent Design! That is not science! That’s a totalitarian dictatorship.
    Like you stated in your last comment: “I have no problem reconciling my faith with evolution, physics, chemistry or any other branch of the sciences.” You rank evolution as if it is a branch of science! It is like saying “I have no problem reconciling my faith with Creationism, physics, chemistry or any other branch of the sciences.” Creationism is a metaphysical belief, and just as Evolution it’s impossible to prove, because we weren’t there.

    But Jesus said “from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” Mar 10:6 and “For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.” Mar 13:19. Was Jesus not “scientific?” was he a dork, cause He not only believed in the Creation, but “knew all things”??? How you ever reconcile that, I dunno. It is like believing in Jesus cafeteria style. I like that, but His other words I reject. But hey! It is your soul, and freedom of choice.

    So when Evolutionists speak, they speak from their postulates, their liturgy and their foundational beliefs that have been turned in hundreds of thousands little sub-beliefs and they consider that their “science.” But we who are not of the same religion do not believe in those and we see huge, enormous holes in their religion that stand not up to scrutiny. Kind of like the Mormons–now I don’t want to offend the Mormons–but there is more archaeological and historical documentary proof for Genesis than archaeological proof for the Book of Mormon, and thus it is not science, but it’s a belief!
    But I believe in freedom of religion, so if you like to mix Jesus/Moses with Darwin?–I don’t know how you reconcile it, but hey, it is a free world!–I won’t stop you! If you like to know more about my denunciations of Evolution, see my “Evolution Irritation” site.

    But I did ask you for YOUR explanation–if you want to of course–for all the kilometers deep trillions of tons of dirt layers mixed with fossils under our feet. But if you have no time, never mind. I don’t have much time either, nor money to buy an evolutionary textbook I don’t have faith in. So voila, Stalemate I guess.

    But thanks for commenting. It is wonderful to know that you believe in a meta-physical Heaven, (I suppose, because you don’t seem to believe the entire Bible) and if so, we will meet at least over There, unless you come to Taiwan, then I will treat you to a beer. :)
    But I sure love you bro! And would love to discuss with you face to face. But these comments take a long time, don’t they? But that is my cross, as this is my blog. Ha! May God bless you with more faith! Love and prayers!
    Your servant Lu.

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