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:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , ... and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, today ... bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that the ... the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University has ... for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food safety ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in ... media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec ... provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming ... NAB show at the Las Vegas Convention ... Click ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... a United States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of ... capable of identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... BioInformatics (https://www.onramp.bio/ ) has launched Rosalind™, the first-ever genomics analysis platform ... eliminating all bioinformatics complexity. Named in honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but ... do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, ... its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a ... of a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which ... growing need for communication among health care professionals to enhance ... physicians, nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to ... for breast cancer. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: