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Katydids have sung same tune for 55 million years

Katydids were singing pretty much the same song 55 million years ago that they do today, new fossil evidence suggests.

The katydid fossils, discovered in Denmark, represent the oldest known evidence of insects communicating by making distinct noises.Scientists from the University of Gottingen in Germany drew their conclusions from 20,000 bushcricket, or katydid, specimens preserved in solidified ocean sediment. The fossils are described in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

Many of the fossils contain finely detailed impressions of the insects' wings and forelegs. They show that the prehistoric katydids were calling out to potential mates back then much as they do today -- by scraping their wings together.

From the fossils, the researchers were able to re-create the creature's tune, producing a rare sample of what Earth probably sounded like long, long ago. That song will be used in exhibits in Danish museums.