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Some time in the prehistoric past when the oxygen level on earth was far greater we had giant insects roaming about. These puppies were measured in feet not inches and were big enough for a kid to ride. Insects are nutritious and grow quickly + the biosphere project was a bust = more fun food for all.
Lets fill the biosphere project with a higher level of oxygen and select generations of insects for increasing size and nutritional value (though in our society shape and color will predominate). Filet of grasshopper anyone. Makes a great Christmas pet (in oxygen enriched aquarium), if it gets out it makes a great meal. Note that if a millipede loses a leg it can grow a replacement, try that with a cow!
Future 4H blue ribbon winner.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 11 2005]
The future is now
Some people already eat bugs. [whippinggas, Apr 11 2005]
FossilBugz - a Yahoo Group
that I'm a member of. It's aimed primarily at the younger end of the education spectrum, and is also associated (by the group owners) with a more scholarly grown-up version of the same topic. [Ian Tindale, Apr 11 2005]
Ancient Centipede 1' wide, 5' long
[Widgit, Apr 11 2005]
[Widgit, Apr 11 2005]
Meganeura - Giant gragonfly
Interesting info [Widgit, Apr 11 2005]
||//Makes a great Christmas pet // <obligatory> A giant millipede is not just for Christmas - with luck, you'll have enough for a curry on Boxing Day.
||//we had giant insects roaming about. These puppies were measured in feet// ? ? ? Love to see a link on that.
||Are you talking about ancient marine arthropods? Because the coconut crab is about the limit for arthropod size on land.
||It's true (within limits, and not sure it's
related to oxygenation). A lot of the
paleogeoarthropoda can generally
exceed the average size of
contemporary geoarthropoda. For an
example I'm sure we're all familiar with
in the back of most of our minds, the
Odonata family exhibited some pretty
darn huge dragonflies, around the time
of the carboniferous period. Dragonflies
that were already an extremely
form of insect, very highly evolved and
diverse. All this was happening long
before anyone had ever thought of
||As a kid I recall an exhibit at the museum of prehistoric forest. The giant millipede stuck in my mind as it was large enough for me to ride. Somewhere else I read that the higher oxygen levels allowed larger insect life. Not sure if true but does make some sense as insects intake oxygen through valve opens in their exoskeleton which then passively diffuses through their body tracheal tubes (see link). If the oxygen was higher then it could fget further down these passages before being depleted.
||"The strip coal mine has also yielded fossils of two rare arachnids, a giant centipede-like insect measuring about 60 inches long (150 centimeters) and 12 inches wide (30 centimeters), and a new genus and species of gerarid insect. " (see link)
||Meganeura (giant dragonfly) which lived more than 280 million years ago in the forest swamps and said to have a wing span of more than 27 inches. (see link)
||[widgit] But when you squash things for millions of years, don't they grow flatter and larger, like a cartoon cat through a mangle? Who's to say these weren't just itty-bitty, ordinary millipedes/dragonflies?
||Widgit, - good point about the
respiration, but not all insects were
uniformly larger. There was a greater
biodiversity among insects back in the
day, including another two (I think?)
whole families of insects that we no
longer have today (all the remaining
seven or so distinct insect families we
have today were evident during the
span from carboniferous to cretaceous,
generally). Then, there were
small insects just as we have today, as
well as larger insects, just as we don't