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Keywords:

  • Carboniferous;
  • Ephemeroptera;
  • ichnology;
  • insect flight;
  • neoichnology;
  • Pterygota

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.