Just in time for Valentine’s Day…
Yes, those love-besotted geeks over at ScienceDaily.com have spared every expense in bringing us this heart-warming tale of prehistoric passion.
The nerdlings gush, “The love song of an extinct cricket that lived 165 million years ago has been brought back to life by scientists at the University of Bristol. The song — possibly the most ancient known musical song documented to date — was reconstructed from microscopic wing features on a fossil discovered in North East China. It allows us to listen to one of the sounds that would have been heard by dinosaurs and other creatures roaming Jurassic forests at night.”
Thanks to Chinese researchers , those hopeless romantics, their findings, published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, imply that the acoustic environment was already quite busy 165 million years ago with many animals (such as amphibians and other arthropods) singing at the same time, possibly chorusing, within the additional background noise produced by waterfalls, streams and wind.
The researchers provided an exceptionally detailed bush cricket fossil from the Mid Jurassic period. The specimen had such well-preserved wing features that the details of its stridulating organs were clearly visible under an optical microscope. Such information has never been obtained before from insect fossils. It was identified as a new fossil species and named Archaboilus musicus by the Beijing-Kansas team. 
But… what did it sound like?
Amazingly, based on the detailed morphology of Archaboilus‘ wings, Dr Fernando Montealegre-Zapata  could reconstruct the songs emitted by these ancient insects.
Dr Montealegre-Zapata said, “Using a low-pitched song, A. musicus was acoustically adapted to long-distance communication in a lightly cluttered environment, such as a Jurassic forest. Today, all species of katydids that use musical calls are nocturnal so musical calls in the Jurassic were also most likely an adaptation to nocturnal life.”
In other words, love was in the air… even in those days!
 A group of Chinese palaeontologists, with Jun-Jie Gu and Professor Dong Ren from the Capital Normal University in Beijing.
 The group also teamed up with Dr Michael Engel of the University of Kansas, USA, a leading expert on insect evolution.
 Dr Fernando Montealegre-Zapata and Professor Daniel Robert, both experts in the biomechanics of singing and hearing in insects, in Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences, were also contacted by the Chinese researchers.