Sex is a natural biological demand of every animal. Now, can you tell what’s the maximum time any animal including man have engaged in having sex? Well the answer is way beyond your thought – it’s 165 million years!
Froghoppers (Anthoscytina perpetua) are little bugs that hop from plant to plant like a frog. The very interesting thing is lately, some researchers from Capital Normal University in China have identified a pair of copulating Froghoppers in the region of Daohugou in Inner Mongolia, fossilized in a rather rare and compromising position. The bugs were just longer than 1½ inches and found face-to-face and the male sex organ is seen inserted inside the female. The holotype male was found on the right, with the allotype (a specimen of the opposite sex to the holotype) female, on the left. The two love-struck bugs originate from the Middle Jurassic period, with estimates placing the fossil at 165 million years old.
Study author Dong Ren has said, “We found these two very rare copulating froghoppers which provide a glimpse of interesting insect behaviour and important data to understand their mating position and genitalia orientation during the Middle Jurassic. It is the earliest record of copulating insects to date, and suggests that froghoppers’ genital symmetry and mating position have remained static for over 165 million years.”
However, researchers believe that the pair were halfway through mating when they were killed by toxic gases released by a volcanic eruption. They were then blown by the wind into a lake where they were buried, and ultimately protected, for millions of years. Researchers have published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE.