Navigation Links
Fossil palm beetles 'hind-cast' 50-million-year-old winters

Fifty-million-year-old fossil beetles that fed only on palm seeds are giving Simon Fraser University biologists Bruce Archibald and Rolf Mathewes new information about ancient climates.

According to their research, published online this week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these fossil beetles indicate that during a period of global warming in the geological past, there were mild, frost-free winters extended even in the uplands of ancient western North America.

Working with co-authors Geoffrey Morse of the University of San Diego, California, and David Greenwood of Manitoba's Brandon University, researchers used fossil beetles to determine winter temperatures where they couldn't place a thermometerin the 50-million-year-old uplands of British Columbia and Washington.

The key to their study was finding a particular group of beetles that only feed on palms.

"The natural distribution of palms is limited today to regions without significant frost days, which their seeds and seedlings can't survive," Archibald explains. "A cooler upland with palms indicates a specific climate type, where a temperate average yearly temperaturerather like Vancouver todayhad warmer winters where palms can complete their lifecycles."

But since detecting palm fossils is difficult, the research duo developed a new technique they used the beetle fossils to test for the palms' presence.

Understanding more about these temperate, yet mild winter climates by looking to the deep past may help show how natural communities are impacted by climate change, says Archibald. "We see this happening today in significant wayswarm the winters a little, and you get big changes, such as the explosion of mountain pine beetle populations that strongly affect forests and the people and economies that depend on them.

"Using the fossil record to understand climates of the deep past that had significant similarities to climates that we are now encountering may help forearm us with knowledge that will be important to our future as we increasingly experience the effects of global warming."


Contact: Bruce Archibald
Simon Fraser University

Related biology news :

1. Protecting living fossil trees
2. Dinosaur fossil: Even specialized predators didnt turn down free meals
3. Seismic zones, river deltas, landslides, fossil reptiles, and more new Geology science
4. Buy coal? New analysis shows purchasing fossil fuel deposits best way to fight climate change
5. Anthropologist finds explanation for hominin brain evolution in famous fossil
6. Ancient giant turtle fossil revealed
7. Scientists find gold-plated fossil solution
8. Human-like spine morphology found in aquatic eel fossil
9. Work starts on fossil fuel free cargo ship set to transform shipping industry
10. Fossil turtle from Colombia round like car tire
11. Fossil egg discovered in Lleida (Spain) links dinosaurs to modern birds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Today, ... announced a partnership with 2XU, a global leader ... deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. ... other athletes to monitor key biometrics to improve ... strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. ... solutions, today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ... touch controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, ... by Huawei. --> ... like Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest ... market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations ... higher volume share for the region in the ... margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market earned ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential micronutrient that ... proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million award from ... conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and ... to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their ... votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... today that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or ... Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject to the ... on November 23, 2015, which will result in ... giving effect to the issuance of such shares, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: