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:
TAG: Research discovers oldest bee evolutionary link

(Date:7/28/2014)... team of researchers led by the University of Arizona ... The genetic information will enhance scientists, and agriculturalists, understanding ... as enable the development of new rice varieties that ... to help solve global hunger challenges. , The paper, ... ) and evidence for independent domestication," was published online ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... and organic compounds in hydrothermal environments are critical components ... for the deep biosphere, and may have implications for ... about how minerals influence organic reactions. A team ... a common mineral acts as a catalysts for specific ... solvents or expensive reagents. , At the heart of ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have pinpointed a mechanism ... glucose levels in the blood, linking it to both type ... the July 28 issue of Proceedings of the National ... prolyl endopeptidase enzyme located in a part of the ... of steps in motion that control glucose levels in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Generating a genome to feed the world: UA-led team sequences African rice 2Generating a genome to feed the world: UA-led team sequences African rice 3Generating a genome to feed the world: UA-led team sequences African rice 4Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds 2Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds 3Glucose 'control switch' in the brain key to both types of diabetes 2
(Date:7/28/2014)... Appistry, Inc. , a leading ... power of genomics to next-generation medicine, announced today its ... . , Two Appistry staff will be joined ... for Genome Resources, and Mr. Neil Miller, director of ... City. Rounding out the panel are Appistry’s Dr. Richard ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... The global market for biotechnology is expected ... a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Increasing ... vaccines and drugs in an attempt to improve healthcare ... to drive market demand over the next six years. ... the use of genetically engineered seeds is expected to ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... and COLLEGE STATION, Texas , July 28, 2014 ... theatlashotel.com will be a 177-key, 4-star boutique hotel in the ... Bryan , Texas.  Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140725/130455 ... As the first hotel within ATLAS , ... a mixture of standard rooms and suites, a sleek restaurant and ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... IN (PRWEB) July 28, 2014 The ... Center, in Muncie IN, is pleased to announce that ... the National Museum of the United States Air Force. ... a year-long process that concluded this spring with an ... the Dayton, OH museum. , The National Museum ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Appistry Names Industry Experts from the National Center for Genome Resources and Mercy Children's, Kansas City, to Judge Pipeline Challenge Competition 2Global Biotechnology Market Worth $604.40 Billion by 2020: Grand View Research, Inc 2Global Biotechnology Market Worth $604.40 Billion by 2020: Grand View Research, Inc 3Global Biotechnology Market Worth $604.40 Billion by 2020: Grand View Research, Inc 4Texas' Biocorridor Announces the Atlas Hotel, Centerpiece of Mixed Use Community for Biotech Industry 2Texas' Biocorridor Announces the Atlas Hotel, Centerpiece of Mixed Use Community for Biotech Industry 3Texas' Biocorridor Announces the Atlas Hotel, Centerpiece of Mixed Use Community for Biotech Industry 4AMA’s National Model Aviation Museum Granted Full Civilian Museum Certification by the National Museum of the United States Air Force 2
Cached News: