Since the Renaissance, wormholes in woodblocks have left errors in printed art, but new research uses those traces to reveal which beetle species are responsible.
“For example, if printed wormholes appear on a print made in Bamberg, Germany in 1462, then we know that the beetles that made the wormholes in the corresponding woodblock must have lived in or around that place at that time,” says Penn State biologist Blair Hedges.
“So wormholes can tell us when and where a species existed with fairly good accuracy, more than 500 years ago, and that is amazing.”
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Photo credit: “The Rich Man” by Cornelis Anthonisz/Penn State/Flickr