Cricket Fossil Sings a Tune

Ehrlich Pest Control

Pest control news come in all shapes and sizes, covering wasps in the summer and termites and ants in the spring. While most pests are a nuisance, few come with a soundtrack.

Enter the cricket.  Scientists from the US and China discovered a prehistoric insect fossil that has retained extraordinary detail. So extraordinary in fact, that the structures that make up their wings were visibly preserved when viewed under a microscope.

The species, named Archaboilus musicus, gave scientists a view into how crickets create their telltale sound, or chirp, as it’s known. Crickets make their music using their wings and a bow-like structure called the “plectrum”. The plectrum resides on one wing and is dragged across a microscopic comb-like structure on the other wing.  The comb-like structure gave researchers a strong indication of how Jurassic crickets chirp.

When viewed under a microscope, the anatomy of the prehistoric specimen indicates that crickets use these structures on their bodies much like a violinist guides their bow over violin strings. Measurements were taken and matched against the anatomy of modern day crickets to establish a baseline. The result enabled researchers to ascertain that the Jurassic cricket had a musical tone much lower than cricket species we encounter today.

While the sound coming from a cricket ten minutes into a solo is certainly not Mozart or Lady Gaga, it is interesting to note that the scientists set out to recreate a sound not heard in 165 million years. Have a listen here. While the ‘music’ is unlikely to sell out any arenas or concert halls, its still an amazing feat that scientists figured out a way to reproduce a sound not heard nor produced in the last 165 million years! Initially, scientists speculated that crickets evolved the ability to make these sounds as a modern day response to being startled. In fact, the reason why crickets chirp is as old as time itself: the serenade of an insect looking for a mate.

Ehrlich Pest Control
Ehrlich Pest Control

Since our founding in 1928, Ehrlich Pest Control has grown to over 100 local offices serving both residential and commercial customers throughout the Eastern U.S. Long lasting relationships with colleagues and customers is a cornerstone of our success. Many Ehrlich colleagues have been with the company for 25, 30 and 40-plus years.

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