Navigation Links
Fossil forensics reveals how wasps populated rotting dinosaur eggs
Date:7/15/2011

Exceptionally preserved fossils of insect cocoons have allowed researchers in Argentina to describe how wasps played an important role in food webs devoted to consuming rotting dinosaur eggs. The research is published today (15th July) in the scientific journal Palaeontology.

The approximately 70 million year old eggs, from gigantic titanosaur sauropod dinosaurs were discovered in 1989 in the Patagonia region of Argentina, well known for yielding fossils of sauropod dinosaur eggs and even embryonic dinosaurs. Only recently it was discovered that one of the broken eggs contained tiny sausage-shaped structures, 2-3cm long and 1cm wide. The structures closely resembled fossilised insect cocoons, and were most similar in size and shape to the cocoons of some species of modern wasp.

There are many records of fossilised dinosaur eggs, and even several records of fossil cocoons, but, as author Dr Jorge Genise of the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales states "this is the first time that these cocoons are found closely associated with an egg". Such a study of organismal behaviour (e.g. burrows, footprints) is known as ichnology.

The results indicate "that wasps probably participated in the food web, mostly composed of scavenging insects, which developed on the rotten egg". The make-up of carrion communities spiders, beetles and other creatures populating rotting organic matter is more familiar to us from the screens of crime scene investigation documentaries.

The numbers and different types of creatures indicate the length of deposition and the time since death. In this particular CSI, it appears that the dinosaur egg was broken by force, and subsequent fractures in the egg shell allowed scavenging creatures to feed upon the contents. At egg sizes of around 20cm, this represents a sizable amount of yolk! Other creatures later appeared to feed not upon the egg contents, but on the initial scavengers themselves. The wasps represent the top of the food web, and could have been feeding on insects or spiders gorging on rotting egg contents.

These scavengers also played an important role in cleaning up nest sites. Palaeontologists believe that some dinosaurs revisited nest sites year after year to lay new clutches of eggs. Carrion communities were essential to removing decaying material in advance of new nesting seasons. This new discovery gives us an insight into the murky world of insect communities that thrived at the feet of gigantic dinosaurs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Emily Rayfield
publicity@palass.org
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Europe rallies behind nanotechnology to wean world from fossil fuels
2. Researchers uncover worlds oldest fossil impression of a flying insect
3. Caltech geobiologists discover unique magnetic death star fossil
4. Living fossil tree contains genetic imprints of rain forests under climate change
5. Bacterial biofilms as fossil makers
6. Hobbit fossils represent a new species, concludes University of Minnesota anthropologist
7. Dinosaur fossils fit perfectly into the evolutionary tree of life
8. Early whales gave birth on land, fossil find reveals
9. Worlds largest snake discovered in fossilized rainforest
10. Origin of claws seen in 390-million-year-old fossil
11. Famous fossil Lucy scanned at the University of Texas at Austin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fossil forensics reveals how wasps populated rotting dinosaur eggs
(Date:2/10/2016)... PUNE, India , February 10, 2016 ... --> According to 2016 iris ... fingerprint identification iris recognition is more widely ... are available with both fingerprint and iris ... allows the user to avoid purchasing two ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , Feb. 9, 2016 Vigilant ... mobile license plate reader (LPR) to develop a lead in ... and commercially available LPR data to locate the suspect vehicle. ... details of the case have been omitted at the agency,s ... spokesperson for the agency explains, "Our victim was found deceased ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ... of the "Global Facial Recognition Market ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced the ... Market 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced the addition of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , February 12, 2016 ... Efforts by Enabling Scientific Understanding of Complex Diseases ... Rare Diseases --> ... diagnostics in South Asia and a leading provider of ... contribute $10 million to the GenomeAsia 100K consortium ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX ) today announced ... 2015. --> --> For ... of $29.3 million, or $0.34 loss per share, compared to a ... the same period in 2014. For the year ended December 31, ... $1.05 loss per share, as compared to a net loss of ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Germany and GERMANTOWN, Maryland ... QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced the ... Panels for gene expression profiling, expanding QIAGEN,s portfolio of ... panels enable researchers to select from over 20,000 human ... discover interactions between genes, cellular phenotypes and disease processes. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Spectra BioPharma Selling Solutions (Spectra) ... provides biopharma companies the experience, expertise, operational delivery ... outsourced sales teams. Created in concert with industry ... the strategic and tactical needs of its clients ... through both personal and non-personal promotion. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: