Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chinese mosquitos on the Baltic Sea

30.07.2014

Strange finds indeed have been reported by researchers from China, Europe and the USA in the journal "Current Biology": 50 million years ago, there were insects living in East Asia that very much resembled those in Northern Europe.

This is what amber, which was found in East China showed, in whose analysis the University of Bonn is currently participating. The fossil resin clumps give evidence of arthropods from more than 80 different families, constituting a unique snapshot of East Asia's insect universe at the time.


Konserviert in einem goldenen Sarg: Trauermücke eingebettet in Fushun-Bernstein.

Foto: Bo Wang / Universität Bonn

The analysis of the roughly 3,000 pieces is still in its infant stage. But it is already evident that the results will be of major significance. "Amazingly often, we are finding–in addition to Asian forms–the same insect species in Fushun amber that we found in Baltic amber," explained Bonn paleontologist Professor Dr. Jes Rust.

The Baltic amber comes from the Baltic Sea region, which is almost 10,000 kilometers from Fushun. Sites rich in finds are, e.g., the coastal regions of Mecklenburg, Poland and Belarus. The pieces from the Baltic region are slightly younger than the ones from Fushun–according to estimates, about 40 to 50 million years.

... more about:
»Baltic »insect »insects »snapshot »species

At that time, Europe and Asia were divided by the Strait of Turgay, a wide arm of the ocean. Many researchers had assumed until now that this body of saltwater prevented species migrations between the continents–or at least, made it much harder. "Consequently, the great similarity of the included insects has been a great surprise to us," said Rust. "We don't know yet how that fits together."

A neglected treasure

In the vicinity of the Northeast Chinese city of Fushun, there are large lignite deposits. Humans have been digging up this fuel from the ground for more than a century already. And in doing so, they also kept finding pieces of amber. Traditionally, the locals made jewelry from it. Particularly beautiful finds with interesting inclusions are highly sought after among collectors.

Until now, the inclusions had not been studied systematically. It was the Chinese paleontologist Dr. Bo Wang who finally recognized the scientific potential of Fushun amber. Wang, who is currently at the Bonn University on a research grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, used his good contacts with institutes and collectors to start systematically cataloguing the finds. An analysis is currently underway in collaboration with paleontologists from Europe and the USA.

And it is beginning to become clear how rich this deposit is. So far, the researchers have been able to identify arachnids and insects from more than 80 families–a snapshot of the past that provides a detailed view of what tiny animals populated East Asia 53 million years ago.

In addition, the Fushun deposit is filling in one of the blank spots on the map. With the exception of India, it constitutes the only significant site where amber has been found in Asia. Rust regrets that the open pit mining in Fushun will soon stop. "But despite that, the detailed analysis of the finds will probably keep us busy for quite some time."

Publication: Bo Wang, Jes Rust, Michael S. Engel, Jacek Szwedo, Suryendu Dutta, André Nel, Yong Fan, Fanwei Meng, Gongle Shi, Edmund A. Jarzembowski, Torsten Wappler, Frauke Stebner, Yan Fang, Limi Mao, Daran Zheng and Haichun Zhang; A Diverse Paleobiota in Early Eocene Fushun Amber from China; Current Biology 24 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.05.048

Contact:

Dr. Bo Wang
Steinmann-Institute of the University of Bonn
and State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy
Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology
Chinese Academy of Sciences (Nanjing/China)
Phone: +86 13951982860
Email: savantwang@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Jes Rust
Steinmann-Institute of the University of Bonn
Phone: +49 228/734842
Email: jrust@uni-bonn.de

Dr. Andreas Archut | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de/

Further reports about: Baltic insect insects snapshot species

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Synthetic nanoparticles achieve the complexity of protein molecules
24.01.2017 | Carnegie Mellon University

nachricht Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
24.01.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores

24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Synthetic nanoparticles achieve the complexity of protein molecules

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

PPPL physicist uncovers clues to mechanism behind magnetic reconnection

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>