In order for insects to avoid being murdered by other insects, mimicry is sometimes employed. The most well known example of mimicry in insects may be the praying mantid’s resemblance to long blades of grass and green vegetation. Of course, this sort of mimicry works out well for the praying mantid, as it tends to remain still while waiting to ambush prey. What is more impressive are the insects that seem to employ mimicry only when dangerous predators are nearby. These insects are normally not well suited for combat with enemies, so they mimic the posture and movements of the meanest predatory insects in order to fool their hungry predators. Although there does exist numerous insects today that demonstrate mimicry as a survival method, ancient insects that are now extinct may have practiced mimicry to a greater extent than modern insects. Not long ago, paleontologists discovered the remains of a 47 million year old cockroach species that had been fossilized while in a state of mimicry.
A now extinct cockroach species was discovered fossilized in a seemingly awkward position. Researchers believe that this awkward stance could be an example of mimicry, as cockroaches often evolved certain features in common with ants in order to survive within hostile conditions. Although you would think that ants would not be mimicked often due to their small size, there are two good reasons to explain why insects would prefer to appear as ants to enemies. First of all, ants are not often sought after by predators as they do not provide many calories. Furthermore, ants can defend themselves when necessary, as ants are more ferocious than their size suggests. The fossilized cockroach possesses a head, torso and legs that resemble worker ants that had existed millions of years ago. Ancient cockroaches also began to develop elongated trunks similar to ants, and also like ants, some cockroaches began developing ant-like heads millions of years ago.
Do you believe that mimicry is demonstrated by certain spider species too?