Oh Great: Researchers Breed X-Large Insects
You know, I've been so busy preparing for the robot apocalypse that I might have overlooked the possibility (and severity) of a giant insect apocalypse. Put on your beekeeper's suit and grab a flamethrower, we've got some legs to torch.
As many readers will doubtless be aware, during the late Paleozoic era the Earth was, if not exactly ruled or terrorised, at the least very seriously bothered by swarms of gigantic dragonflies with wingspans around 70cm across. The monster insects will have been all the more troublesome as dragonflies "need to hunt live prey", according to experts.
One such expert is Dr John VandenBrooks, who has after a lengthy struggle managed to breed such much-enlarged dragonflies in his Arizona laboratory. The large size was achieved by enhancing atmospheric oxygen levels to 31 per cent, as seen in the Paleozoic (today's air is only about 20 per cent O2).
The hard bit, according to the prof, was not the creation of this artificially enriched (or "hyperoxic") atmosphere but the actual care and feeding of the monstrous, prehistoric winged flesh-eaters.
"Monstrous, prehistoric winged flesh-eaters," awesome. If it's not a pterodactyl I don't want any part of it. If it is a pterodactyl then I just want the private parts. Now, if we hold two magnifying glasses in front of each other does that make the insect-burning beam stronger? Because I have three of them. And -- AND -- the monocle I stole from a guy dressed as Mr. Peanut last night.
Thanks to SquidgyB and Mike, who agree any bug larger than a peanut butter and banana sandwich is just too damn big.
*Picture is a model