HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Research discovers oldest bee, evolutionary link

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered the oldest bee ever known, a 100 million year old specimen preserved in almost lifelike form in amber, and an important link to help explain the rapid expansion of flowering plants during that distant period.

The findings and their evolutionary significance are outlined in an article to be published this week in the journal Science.

The specimen, at least 35-45 million years older than any other known bee fossil, has given rise to a newly-named family called Melittosphecidae insects that share some of the features of both bees and wasps. It supports the theory that pollen-dependent bees evolved from their meat-eating predecessors, the wasps.

"This is the oldest known bee we've ever been able to identify, and it shares some of the features of wasps," said George Poinar, a professor of zoology at OSU and international expert in the study of life forms preserved in ancient amber. "But overall it's more bee than wasp, and gives us a pretty good idea of when these two types of insects were separating on their evolutionary paths."

Just as important, Poinar said, the discovery points to the mechanism that could have allowed for the rapid expansion and diversity of flowering plants around that time the "angiosperms" that depend on some mechanism other than wind to spread their seeds. Prior to that, the world was dominated by "gymnosperms," largely conifer trees, which used wind for pollination and re-seeding.

These changes took place during the Cretaceous Period, which lasted from 65.5 million to 145.5 million years ago. The earliest angiosperms didn't really begin to spread rapidly until a little over 100 millions years ago, a time that appears to correspond with the evolution of bees seen in the new fossil.

"Flowering plants are very important in the evolution of life," Poinar said. "They can reproduce more quickly, develop more genetic diversity, spread mor
'"/>

Contact: George Poinar
poinarg@science.oregonstate.edu
541-752-0917
Oregon State University
25-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Gilbert Foundation and American Fed for Aging Research award grants on Alzheimers disease
2. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
3. Research aims to identify markers for menopausal women at risk for deadly blood clot
4. Research team enlightens the reasons for severe blindness
5. Research teams uncover risk genes for multiple sclerosis
6. Research shows NPD1 protects a key component of vision
7. Researchers find pathway that controls cell size and division
8. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
9. Researchers discover gene responsible for Restless Legs Syndrome
10. Research study describes the role part of the brain plays in memory
11. NY Stem Cell Foundations 2nd Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: