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List: TX-Butterfly
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 06:12:49 -0600
From: Dora Smith <villandra24...>
Subject: World's oldest butterfly and moth fossils discovered in 200 million year old pond scum

Repost - I forgot to change the subject line.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2018/01/11/worlds-oldest-butterfly-and-moth-fossils-worlds-oldest-butterfly-and-moth-fossils-discovered-200-mil/1024442001/

Scientists in Germany discovered the oldest known fossils of moths and
butterflies while sifting through what could be described as
200-million-year-old "pond scum" — ancient soil samples filled with pollen,
spores, pieces of plants and insect legs and wings.

Mysteriously, the fossilized insect remains turned out to be more than 70
million years older than the oldest known fossils of flowering plants,
throwing a monkey wrench into how the co-evolution between flowers and their
pollinating insects occurred.

"The consensus has been that insects followed flowers," said Boston College
research professor Paul K. Strother, co-author of the study published
Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances. "But that would be
50 million years later than what the wings were saying. It was odd to say
the least, that there would be butterflies before there were flowers."



With no flowers around, the researchers believe the primitive moths and
butterflies developed the physical attributes — namely the sucking
proboscis — to find nutrition from sugary water droplets from the tips of
tree seeds.

"What we've found is that these butterflies and moths with mouth parts were
feeding on pollen droplets of gymnosperm seeds — from conifers related to
pines, seed plants without fruits and flowers," Strother said.


Yours,
Dora Smith

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