Smithsonian Magazine: Paleontologists have long suspected that unique mouthparts of the 16 known species of hell ant hinged shut vertically, rather than horizontally as is the case in all living ant species. But the newly described specimen is the first hard evidence that this is indeed how these early ants sharp jaws functioned
The previous “earliest” record was from a fossil dated to 15 to 20 million years ago but what we don’t yet know is, did the mosquito then have the relationship it now has with the malaria parasite plasmodium? It’s a complex relationship, apparently. That could shed light on theories around evolution and strategies around malaria.
One wonders whether the larval tubes (as opposed to clubs or bumps) relates to different plant species providing the camouflage, hence different portage methods used. Otherwise, this is a lovely example of stasis (for very long periods of time, evolution doesn’t seem to happen), trapped in amber
Amber is, in some ways, like a very-slow motion vid. From ScienceDaily: Flowering plants are well known for their special relationship to the insects and other animals that serve as their pollinators. But, before the rise of angiosperms, another group of unusual evergreen gymnosperms, known as cycads, may have been the first insect-pollinated plants. Now, Read More…