Jurassic Beetle: CSIRO Entomologist Discovers Living Fossil

CSIRO entomologist Dr John Lawrence admits it was a thrill: the delicate bronze-and-white spiny beetle glittering in the light of his microscope was a living fossil, whose ancestral roots go back almost 200 million years.

"The peculiar look of the animal caught my eye straight away. The unique combination of spines, scales and lack of wings. At first I was puzzled, then I realised it was an ommatid, a member of a family of beetles which dates back to the Jurassic," he recounts.

The beetle, a fresh candidate for the honour of oldest living Australian, is even more ancient than the super-continent Gondwana. Its cousins are found in South America, North America, Europe and Asia, suggesting they originated at the time when all of the earth's contintents formed one vast landmass, known as Pangaea.

The beetle is from the family Omma, and its species is entirely new to science. So far, only two specimens have been discovered, from different sites in the South Australian Mallee, at Calperum-Bookmark Biosphere Reserve and Brookfield Conservation Park.

"We had set up flight-intercept traps to catch flying insects. Below them was a small trough into which the insects fell. This trough sometimes catches flightless animals too, when they walk into it."

That was how the two specimens of the new Omma species came to stumble into the entomological record books.

"We know next to nothing about them, because they are so rare," Dr Lawrence says. "There are a couple of related species which have been found in eastern Australia, and one specimen of an ommatid larva, from Perth."

The Ommatidae are members of the Archostemata, one of the four great suborders which make up the vast order of beetles (Coleoptera). The Archostemata are regarded as the most primitive and ancient.

Fossil relatives of the living beetles discovered in the Mallee have b

Contact: Dr. Malcolm Robertson
CSIRO Australia

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Mass extinction at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary
2. Jurassic period mammal teeth found; prevailing theories challenged
3. Beyond Jurassic Park: Real Science With Ancient DNA
4. CSIRO research in greatest biotech show on earth
5. CSIRO scientist wins highest global award for fisheries research
6. New drug discovery spin-off from CSIRO
7. Millenium bug found by CSIRO scientists
8. CSIRO Reduces Cellulite In Oranges
9. CSIRO Discovery Fights Cell Ageing
10. The Largest Bacterium: Scientist Discovers New Bacterial Life Form Off The African Coast
11. Chiron Discovers Significant Hepatitis C Binding Mechanism; Data Indicates CD81 Protein May Be A Virus Receptor

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: