COMMENT ON MARDEN (2013): “REANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE INDICATE THAT THE EARLIEST TRACE FOSSIL OF A WINGED INSECT WAS A SURFACE SKIMMING NEOPTERAN”
Article first published online: 22 APR 2013
© 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 67, Issue 7, pages 2142–2149, July 2013
How to Cite
Benner, J. S., Knecht, R. J. and Engel, M. S. (2013), COMMENT ON MARDEN (2013): “REANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE INDICATE THAT THE EARLIEST TRACE FOSSIL OF A WINGED INSECT WAS A SURFACE SKIMMING NEOPTERAN”. Evolution, 67: 2142–2149. doi: 10.1111/evo.12094
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 22 APR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 21 FEB 2013 08:07PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 16 NOV 2012
- insect flight;
Marden's (2013) reanalysis of Knecht et al. (2011) suggesting that specimen SEMC-F97 is the result of the skimming behavior of a neopteran insect and, more importantly, fossil evidence of “… surface skimming as a precursor to the evolution of flight in insects” (Marden 2013) is found to be deficient on three fronts: (1) the principal specimen was never viewed firsthand which led to significant morphological misinterpretations; (2) poorly designed and executed neoichnological experiments led to incredulous results; and (3) the assumption that this specimen is fossil evidence supporting the surface skimming hypothesis of the origin of insect flight despite the fact that since its induction into the literature that hypothesis has been refuted based on significant paleontological, phylogenetic, genetic, and developmental evidence.