Did you know that dragonflies start out life as underwater insects, called nymphs, who eat fish and propel themselves through the water by forcing water through their bodies in the same fashion as jet propulsion? They are total water insects which means that they don’t need to rise to the surface for air like other pond insects. And, as nymphs, they live this way for a number of years. THEN at some indeterminate time they receive a signal of some sort that compels them to rise to the surface of the pond on a reed of grass and undergo an absolutely amazing evolutionary process that transforms them into air breathing insects that fly! Check out this great video which takes you through the dragonfly’s process.
Are you as blown away as I was when I first learned about this???
Remember when we thought the butterfly was a most amazing creature in that it evolved from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly? Well, the butterfly is still amazing. And yet, I think you’ll have to agree that the transformation from a animal that swims and breathes underwater to an animal that breathes air and flies is even more amazing than that of the butterfly. Yes?
What if the dragonfly evolutionary process is also a metaphor for our own evolutionary process? Well, that’s the opinion of Richard Rudd, who wrote a book called Gene Keys that based in a large part on the dragonfly story to help us understand how we might also evolve.
From some sort of signal that could be encoded in our DNA.
The whole point of this article is to acquaint you with the process of how a dragonfly evolves from the water. And, very fortunately, the section of that great book (Gene Keys) that I most want to draw your attention to is available online for free (click here to download it from the website). I recommend that if the free article excites you, as it did me, you can purchase the book and delve deeper into it. This concept that I’m introducing is from a section of that pdf file article called Heavenly Hydraulics and discusses the high points of how a dragonfly evolves from an underwater swimming insect to an air breathing insect that flies.
I trust you will find that article exciting and stimulating.