Amber, which begins as tree sap, often traps insects and plant structures before they fossilize.
“This is the oldest known bee we’ve ever been able to identify, and it shares some of the features of wasps,” said lead author George Poinar, a researcher from Oregon State University.
“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.”
The quarter-inch fossil shares traits of the carnivorous wasp such as narrow hind legs while exhibiting branched hairs on its leg, a characteristic of the modern bee that allows pollen collection.
Around the same time the bee was trapped, plants that rely on mechanisms other than the wind to spread their seeds, started expanding and diversifying.
Prior to that, the world was mostly green with conifer trees that depended on the wind for pollination.
“Flowering plants are very important in the evolution of life,” Poinar said.
See also here.
Honeybee decline: here.
Eocene fossil bee from France: here.
How are different insects related to each other, according to DNA research? See here.
Underwanter ants of Australia: here.
Evolution of amoebas: here.
- The Weekend Image –A 100-Million Year Old Fossil: Spider Attacking Its Prey (dailygalaxy.com)
- They fly by moonlight: the eyes of a nocturnal wasp (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- General Characteristics of Wasps (expertscolumn.com)
- 100 million-year-old spider attack (earthsky.org)
- Native Pollinators Are Better, so says Science (gardenwalkgardentalk.com)
- Wasp transcriptome creates a buzz (esciencenews.com)
- Don’t Let the Big Bugs Block Your View of the Little Ones in Costa Rica (adullroar.blogspot.com)
- Dinosaur age bird discovery (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Sexual selection and dinosaur fossils (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)