Navigation Links
Big-headed fossil flies track major ecological revolution
Date:1/16/2014

Simon Fraser University's Bruce Archibald and Rolf Mathewes are part of a team of biologists, including Christian Kehlmaier from Germany's Senkenberg Natural History Collections, that has discovered three new, extinct fossil species of big-headed flies.

According to their research, published recently by The Canadian Entomologist, these fossils show their early evolution parallels an ecological revolution, one that formed the character of our modern natural communities.

The three new species of fossil big-headed flies are members of the living family Pipunculidae. One fossil, Metanephrocerus belgardeae, is well-enough preserved to name as a new species. It is named in honour of its finder, Azure Rain Belgarde, a student at the Paschal Sherman Indian School, who uncovered it on a field trip to the fossil deposits at Republic, Washington state.

The other two unnamed, more enigmatic species are described from less complete fossils uncovered at Quilchena in southern British Columbia.

"Big-headed flies are a group of bizarre insects whose round heads are almost entirely covered by their bulging compound eyes, which they use to hunt for mainly leafhoppers and planthoppers, renowned common garden insect pests," says Archibald.

"The newly discovered species were preserved in Eocene epoch fossil beds that are 49 million to 52 million years old, which is about 12 million to 15 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs. This great extinction event also disrupted forests in which the dinosaurs had lived, with mostly low diversity and greatly disrupted food webs for millions of years."

By the time of these flies in the Eocene, however, forests had diversified again, but this time with many new kinds of flowering plants that are familiar to us today, such as birches, maples, and many others.

Along with these new, rich forests came an expanding diversity of pollinators and herbivorous insects, and with them, diversification of their insect predators, including these big-headed flies.

"With these new discoveries, we see that the early history of these oddly shaped insect predators provides a part of the puzzle revealing the broad ecological-evolutionary revolution of expanding predator-prey relationships and increasing biodiversity during the formation of new ecosystems," says Archibald.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bruce Archibald
sba48@sfu.ca
778-782-4458
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Iconic Australasian trees found as fossils in South America
2. Fossil pigments reveal the colors of ancient sea monsters
3. Amber fossil reveals ancient reproduction in flowering plants
4. Fossils clarify the origins of wasps and their kin: alderfly ancestors, snakefly cousins
5. Evolution, Civil War history entwine in plant fossil with a tragic past
6. Researchers use CT and 3-D printers to recreate dinosaur fossils
7. Fossil of new big cat species discovered; oldest ever found
8. Visualizing the past: Nondestructive imaging of ancient fossils
9. Emissions pricing revenues could overcompensate profit losses of fossil fuel owners
10. Tell-tale toes point to oldest-known fossil bird tracks from Australia
11. Fossil record shows crustaceans vulnerable as modern coral reefs decline
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... -- Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders ... technology respectively, today announced the launch of a project ... sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO has ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... , March 18, 2016 ... Suppliers of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure ... & security companies in the border security market and the ... and Europe has led visiongain ... companies improved success. --> defence & security ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... --> --> ... Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... global digital door lock systems market in terms of revenue ... forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% during the ... enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial activity driving ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Founder ... double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the hand by the National Board ... stranger to going above and beyond in his pursuit of providing the most ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... , ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age of two and ... Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary ... ligament and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen suggested that in ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... ... Last week, Callan Capital, an integrated wealth management firm specializing in asset ... Diego Life Science event at the Estancia La Jolla Resort and Spa. , Over ... Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO of Aragon and Seragon, and Faheem Hasnain, former CEO ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... WARSAW, Ind. , May 23, 2016 Zimmer ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors ... stockholders for the second quarter of 2016. ... on or about July 29, 2016 to stockholders of record ... Future declarations of dividends are subject to approval of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: