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The Evolution of Insect Wings and Their Sensory Apparatus

Dickinson, M. H. and Hannaford, S. and Palka, J. (1997) The Evolution of Insect Wings and Their Sensory Apparatus. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 50 (1). pp. 13-24. ISSN 0006-8977. doi:10.1159/000113318.

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The development of wings has undoubtedly played a major roe in the enormous diversification of insects. New insights into the evolutionary history of insect wings are available from paleontological, physiological and biomechanical studies. A recent hypothesis, derived primarily from paleontological evidence, is that wings arose from leg exites, small flaps associated with proximal leg segments. We present data from studies on physical models that are consistent with this hypothesis. The exites would have been moveable, and measurements on scaled models show that they would have generated aerodynamic lift by unsteady mechanisms associated with vortex shedding. An examination of the sensory structures found on insect wings is also consistent with the interpretation of proto-wings as leg exites. In addition to mechanosensory bristles, such as are found all over the body, the wings of modern insects carry campaniform sensilla sensitive to cuticular deformation and contact chemoreceptors whose stimulation elicits a feeding response. Both classes of receptors are also found on the legs of modern insects but not on the thorax, favoring the leg exite theory.

Item Type:Article
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Dickinson, M. H.0000-0002-8587-9936
Additional Information:© 1997 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Subject Keywords:Insect flight; Insect wings; Insect evolution; Evolution; Non-steady state aerodynamics; Chemoreception
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181116-083817848
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Official Citation:Dickinson M, H, Hannaford S, Palka J: The Evolution of Insect Wings and Their Sensory Apparatus. Brain Behav Evol 1997;50:13-24. doi: 10.1159/000113318
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90947
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 17:09
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:37

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