Scientists found in amber insect age nearly 100 million years

Pat Wise
August 19, 2018

Alongside the ancient boganiid beetle, scientists also discovered grains of cycad pollen. It is believed that cycads were the first plants that attract pollinators ancient, but direct evidence of their interaction, however, still received little.

Flowering plants, or angiosperms, are well known for their special relationship with insects and other pollinating animals.

"It's inadvertently and innocently pollinating the plant", said Michael Engel, a paleoentomologist at the University of Kansas and an author on the paper.

The researchers discovered a new genus and species of boganiid beetle, named Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus Cai and Escalona, 2018, preserved with many tiny cycad pollen grains and possessing specialized mandibular patches for the transport of cycad pollen.

Biologists found in a piece of amber from Myanmar beetle, which is nearly 100 million years ago pollinate ancient plants in the Cretaceous period.

He recognised its large jaws with bristly cavities might suggest the beetle was a pollinator of cycads.

The boganiid beetled stuck inside the Myanmar amber hails from the mid-Cretaceous, the upper period of the Mesozoic Era (145 million to 66 million years ago) and has been described as a new species, dubbed Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus.

Stormy Daniels drops out of United Kingdom reality show at last minute
But Trump's private attorney, Michael Cohen, admitted in February he had paid her $130,000 - which she says was to buy her silence over the "intimate relationship".

Jahanbakhsh looking forward to home debut against Manchester United
Jose Mourinho has denied ever having a bust-up with Paul Pogba , insisting he has never been so happy with the player as he is now.

Elon Musk laments 'excruciating' year dealing with Model 3 woes
Musk that he should lay off Twitter and focus on making cars and launching rockets, according to people familiar with the matter". Tesla said it took the allegations that Hansen brought to the electric vehicle maker seriously and investigated.

Cai cut and polished the piece of amber to get a clearer view of the beetle inside. It acted like a pocket, where they could collect pollen.

Phylogenetic analyses of the beetle and associated pollen grains conducted by Dr. CAI Chenyang from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) and his colleagues indicated that it was probably a pollinator of early cycads.

"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 United Kingdom.

"Our finding indicates a very ancient origin of beetle pollination of cycads at least in the Early Jurassic, long before the [emergence and spread] of flowering plants and their pollinators - such as bees and butterflies - later in the Cretaceous or later", said Cai. Another evidence of existing insectoid pollinators dates back to about 165 million years.

In addition to identifying the pollen, the researchers analyzed the beetle itself, linking it to a sister group to Australian Paracucujus, which is a modern cycad pollinator. A consulting expert confirmed the pollen came from a cycad plant.

Cai has been attempting to find similar beetle pollinators that are left undiscovered.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER