Animal minds extinction News

Many bee groups went extinct along with T. Rex, but who knew? Or cared?

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For the first time ever, scientists have documented a widespread extinction of bees that occurred 65 million years ago, concurrent with the massive event that wiped out land dinosaurs and many flowering plants.

No surprise, because

Previous studies have suggested a widespread extinction among flowering plants at the K-T boundary, and it’s long been assumed that the bees who depended upon those plants would have met the same fate. Yet unlike the dinosaurs, “there is a relatively poor fossil record of bees,” says Rehan, making the confirmation of such an extinction difficult.

It’s been said that people note the dinosaur extinction because they are big, bad, and dead. No one cares about the trilobite extinction because they weren’t big or bad, just dead. And bees, as an order, don’t even make the third checkoff.

It would be fascinating to know if bees back then had the collective intelligence they do today:

2 Replies to “Many bee groups went extinct along with T. Rex, but who knew? Or cared?

  1. 1
    lifepsy says:

    Another interesting fact is that some insect ichnofossils(tracks, nests, etc.) predate their corresponding body fossils by roughly “100 million years”.
    Very awkward from an evolutionary/deep-time perspective.

    The range of extant nest architectures for different types of solitary to social insects as well as the key features in their architecture has assisted in the identification of their structures in the geologic record….

    Many of the organisms mentioned here have trace-fossil records that extend to the earliest Mesozoic and predate their earliest body-fossil records in the Cretaceous. Most of these trace fossils have changed remarkably little in 225 million years…

    Complex ichnofossils of solitary and social soil organisms: understanding their evolution and roles in terrestrial paleoecosystems
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....8202006892

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolution vs. The Honey Bee – an Architectural Marvel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4181791

    SECRETS OF BEES
    Excerpt: The scrapings are caught in a comb with nine rows of bristle. The bee doubles up its legs. A huge rake passes through the rows of bristles, pulling the pollen into a press made by the knee joint. When the bee bends its knee, the jaws of the press open; when it straightens its leg, the jaws close, and the pollen is pressed and pushed up into the pollen basket. The pollen basket is a shallow trough in the middle of the hind leg, located just where it widens like the blade of a paddle. To hold the load securely in place, there are many curving hairs around the edges. They serve to hold the bee’s bulging load of pollen securely in place.,,,
    Freight planes carry a payload of about 25 percent of their weight. A bee can carry almost 100 per cent.
    http://beehive.org.nz/stories/bee-secrets

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