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Still Waters

Oldest record of bee preserved in amber

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Still Waters

Beetle parasites clinging to a primitive bee 100 million years ago may have caused the flight error that, while deadly for the insect, is a boon for science today.

The female bee, which became stuck in tree resin and thus preserved in amber, has been identified by Oregon State University researcher George Poinar Jr. as a new family, genus and species.

The mid-Cretaceous fossil from Myanmar provides the first record of a primitive bee with pollen and also the first record of the beetle parasites, which continue to show up on modern bees today.

The findings, published in BioOne Complete, shed new light on the early days of bees, a key component in evolutionary history and the diversification of flowering plants.

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-fossilized-insect-million-years-oldest.html

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