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But, unlike these other gymnosperms that rely on wind for pollination, cycads are pollinated by insects.In fact, it seems that they may have been the first insect-pollinated plants to emerge in the Mesozoic, reports More to the point, the team uncovered a tiny beetle fossil trapped inside 99-million-year-old amber alongside several clumps of cycad pollen grains.To restore access and understand how to better interact with our site to avoid this in the future, please have your system administrator contact [email protected]
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The discovery of an ancient boganiid beetle preserved in Burmese amber for an estimated 99 million years along with grains of cycad pollen.
The beetle also shows special adaptations, including mandibular patches, for the transport of cycad pollen.
For some gymnosperms called cycads, insects serve as their pollen shuttle service, and did so long before flowering plants needed bees and butterflies for pollination.
The discovery, published today (August 16) in of a beetle fossilized in Burmese amber together with grains of cycad pollen reveals that the relationship between these plants and insects may have begun long before the 99-million-year-old fossil formed—at least 167 million years ago—the earliest evidence uncovered to date.
The insect in question, no more than two millimeters long, belongs to the ancient boganiid family — known cycad pollinators, notes .“Boganiid beetles have been ancient pollinators for cycads since the Age of Cycads and Dinosaurs,” said study lead author Chenyang Cai, a paleontologist from the University of Bristol in the U. This incredible find is all the more valuable considering that boganiid beetles scarcely turn up in fossil records.
This particular beetle fossil was discovered in Burmese amber recovered from the Cretaceous biota found in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State.He also found that the amber contained clusters of pollen grains.In the study, the authors compare the beetle’s morphology to that of a modern cycad pollinator and classify the fossil as a boganiid beetle, which they named “It’s a very interesting and intriguing paper,” says Conrad Labandeira, a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, who did not participate in the study.Study coauthor Chenyang Cai, a paleobiologist affiliated with the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in China and the University of Bristol in the UK, suspected that the group of beetles called boganiids he’d seen in stone fossils dating from about 160 million to 200 million years ago were candidates for pollinating ancient plants based on the shape of their large mandibles and because similar beetles pollinate modern cycads these days.So when his colleague and study coauthor Diying Huang of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology brought Cai a fossil of Burmese amber that Huang had purchased from Myanmar locals at the Chinese-Myanmar border that appeared to contain such a beetle, Cai was elated.The amber just might give him the detail he’d been searching for.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating