Navigation Links
International team of scientists describe first Cretaceous African amber deposit
Date:4/5/2010

A description of a 95-million-year-old amber depositthe first major discovery of its kind from the African continentis adding new fungus, insects, spiders, nematodes, and even bacteria to an ecosystem that had been shared by dinosaurs. In addition, the amber deposit may provide fresh insights into the rise and diversification of flowering plants during the Cretaceous. The new paper, published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reconstructs an ancient tropical forest uncovered in present-day Ethiopia and is the work of an international team of 20 scientists.

"Until now, we had discovered virtually no Cretaceous amber sites from the southern hemisphere's Gondwanan supercontinent," says author Paul Nascimbene of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History. "Significant Cretaceous amber deposits had been found primarily in North America and Eurasia."

"The first angiosperms, or flowering plants, appeared and diversified in the Cretaceous," says first author Alexander Schmidt of the University of Gttingen in Germany. "Their rise to dominance drastically changed terrestrial ecosystems, and the Ethiopian amber deposit sheds light on this time of change."

While some of the authors worked on the geological setting and the fossils entombed within the amber, Nascimbene, along with Kenneth Anderson from Southern Illinois University, studied the amber itself. They found that the resin that seeped from these Cretaceous Gondwanan trees is similar chemically to more recent ambers from flowering plants in Miocene deposits found in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The amber's chemical designation is Class Ic, and it is the only Ic fossil resin discovered thus far from the Cretaceous. All other documented Cretaceous ambers are definitively from non-flowering plants, or gymnosperms.

"The tree that produced the sap is still unknown, but the amber's chemistry is surprisingly very much like that of a group of more recent New World angiosperms called Hymenaea," says Nascimbene. "This amber could be from an early angiosperm or a previously-unknown conifer that is quite distinct from the other known Cretaceous amber-producing gymnosperms."

Other team members discovered 30 arthropods that had been trapped in the amber from thirteen families of insects and spiders. These fossils represent some of the earliest African fossil records for a variety of arthropods, including wasps, barklice, moths, beetles, a primitive ant, a rare insect called a zorapteran, and a sheet-web weaving spider. Parasitic fungi that lived on the resin-bearing trees were also found, as well as filaments of bacteria and the remains of flowering plants and ferns.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kristin Elise Phillips
kphillips@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. BIO-key(R) International Taps JMR Worldwide for PR, IR and Strategic Communications
2. Smithsonian hosts 2010 International CAM Workshop in Panama
3. From international harbor to native habitat
4. UC Riverside to host 3-day international meeting on drought
5. BIO-key(R) International Biometric Accuracy Improved by More Than 23% as Reported in Recent NIST Testing
6. Leicesters internationally acclaimed genetics research involved in project into saffron production
7. BIO-key(R) International to Showcase Biometric Identification Technology at RSA Conference 2010
8. International team of scientists to meet in Panama to discuss future of the worlds forests
9. Penn joins international collaboration in government and academics to research soft matter
10. New international satellite observations help assess future earthquake risk in Haiti
11. Duke and the International Serious Adverse Event Consortium to partner on research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/18/2016)... 18, 2016 --> ... ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance ... in the border security market and the continuing migration crisis ... Europe has led visiongain to publish this ... --> defence & security companies in the ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... Florida , March 14, 2016 ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a ... channels starting the week of March 21 st .  The ... CNBC, including its popular Squawk on the Street show. ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... PUNE, India , March 10, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Identity and Access ... SSO, & Audit, Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, ... Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is ... to USD 12.78 Billion by 2020, at a Compound ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on a new building ... Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment to business in ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found in ... malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. ... Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on polyphenols ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design ... 25th anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says ... the privilege and honor of serving their product design and development needs through the ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader ... Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more cost ... biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor ...
Breaking Biology Technology: