Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Angiosperm plants and mammal dung – food for evolution

06.08.2014

The sequential evolution of angiosperm plants and their mammal herbivores was tracked by the evolution of beetles, shows a newly published study from the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig – Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity in Bonn and the Natural History Museum London in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. using DNA sequences.

Dr. Dirk Ahrens, Dr. Julia Schwarzer and their colleague Prof. Alfried Vogler reconstructed a phylogeny of scarab beetles, which include stag beetles, dung beetles and chafers. The researches dated the different lineages using fossils and a molecular clock.


A typical species of the genus Scarabaeus rolling a pill.

copyright: Dr. Dirk Ahrens, ZFMK, Bonn


A typical species of the genus Schizonycha, which belongs to the chafers.

copyright: Dr. Dirk Ahrens, ZFMK, Bonn

The researchers showed that plant-feeding chafers, which are among the most diverse beetle groups in the world, arose almost immediately after the origin of the angiosperms in the Middle Cretaceous. The same lineage also gave rise to dung beetles, but they originated much later, and only after the mammals, including the even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla) as the most important herbivores, had themselves started to use the angiosperms as their food source. The late origin of dung feeding rejects the widely held hypothesis that early dung beetles fed initially on dinosaur dung, which already were extinct by that time. Instead, the evolution of angiosperm plants provided a new resource that first enabled the origins of herbivory in mammals and beetles, and secondary dung feeding among the scarab beetles.

However, the researchers still try to unravel the mystery of why there are so many species of chafers. In contrast to other plant feeding insects, chafers are not specialised on certain plant species. It might thus be possible that the copious leaf litter produced by the angiosperms created highly suitable conditions for these beetles and their soil-dwelling larvae.

Contact:
Dr. Dirk Ahrens
(Abteilung Arthropoda)
Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig
Adenauerallee 160
53113 Bonn
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0)228 9122 286
Fax: +49 (0)228 9122 212

E-Mail: d.ahrens@zfmk.de; ahrens.dirk_col@gmx.de
http://www.zfmk.de/web/ZFMK_Mitarbeiter/AhrensDirk/index.de.html

The paper and any related press releases are made available – under embargo – to the media via a password protected press site. This press release will also be made available to journalists on the Royal Society’s press site.

Ahrens D, Schwarzer J, Vogler AP. 2014 The evolution of scarab beetles tracks the sequential rise of angiosperms and mammals. Proc. R. Soc. B 20141470.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.1470


ZFMK: Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz-Institute for animal biodiversity is part of the Leibniz Association, a network of 89 scientifically, legally and economically independent research institutes and scientific service facilities. Leibniz Institutes perform strategic- and thematically-oriented research and offer scientific service of national significance while striving to find scientific solutions for major social challenges. More information: http://www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/

Weitere Informationen:

For more information visit: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.1470

Sabine Heine | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Angiosperm Biodiversität Leibniz Leibniz-Institut angiosperms beetles clock mammal mammals species

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht GPM sees deadly tornadic storms moving through US Southeast
01.12.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Cyclic change within magma reservoirs significantly affects the explosivity of volcanic eruptions
30.11.2016 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>