|Origin and Evolution of Flight||Theory (Origin and Evolution Continued)||Relationship Between Insect Flight and Thermoregulation||Body Size, Metabolism, Wing Length, Body Temperature||Co-Adaptation||Thermoregulation in various Insects||Sources||HOME|
|Co-Adaptation and Survival|
|Access to nutritional resources, appropriate microhabitats, and suitable oviposition sites would have been facilitated by evolution of flight (Dudley 2000). One benefit would have been the many more occupiable niches and the new-found access to plants.|
(Permission from Kingsolver)
|Figure 11 illustrates how both temperature and lift are contigent upon wing length and body size. Selective pressures would naturally press for the most optimum features of that time period.|
Short wings can tend to have large thermoregulatory effects, especially in small insects. Because of this, increasing wing length significantly increases temperature excess for wing lengths up to 20-40% of body length (Kingsolver 1985). The wings serve to increase the surface area of absorption. For wings of high thermal conductivity, wings both greatly increase the effective surface area and increase the heat transfer (Kingsolver 1985). This is beneficial because it reduces the constraints that environmental temperature have insect behavior.
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Kingolver and Koehl note that the conductivity of heat in the wings of present-day insects is small. Fossil records suggest that the wings of early insects were thicker and more heavily venated, and that they contained more hemolymph than do wings of present-day insects (Kingsolver 1985). Assuming this was the case it would increase the conductance of heat through the wings. This may have been a necessary mechanism based on the environment at the time. Regardless, we see how insects have evolved over time in correspondence to environmental pressures.