Photo: Ancient Global Warming Gave Bugs the Munchies



A collage shows various types of insect damage to leaves dating back to about 55 million years ago, when temperatures spiked due to global warming.

The damage ranges from feeding (a,b) to galls—tumor-like growths caused by eggs laid in the leaves (d)—to mines, which occur when eggs laid in the leaf hatch and the larvae chew passages on their way out (c, e, f, g, h).

Scientists found a dramatic increase in insect damage during the ancient temperature jump, a finding with dire implications for the world's current warming trend.

Images courtesy PNAS/National Academy of Sciences (copyright 2008)


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