?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Amber Evolution

A recent amber discovery in India contains over 700 kinds of arthropods including bees, ants, termites, crustaceans and spiders. Apparently the amber was from a Gujarat province open pit mining operation, and contains at least 100 previously unknown species of insects. The history recorded in this batch of amber is from approximately 53 million years ago---just before India, which had broken off from the subcontinent called Gondwana, collided with Asia. That collision was supposed to have happened about 50 million years ago, and formed the Tibetan plateau. About 150 million years ago, the Indian tectonic plate separated from the African plate and began its 100 million year journey to Asia. During that long journey the subcontinent was isolated from all other continents, giving its wildlife the chance to evolve in distinctly different ways (much like the evolution of marsupials in Australia). So this data is a sample suspended in geological time, before the species on one floating block of land merged with the established biome of Asia. As such it is much more important that just being a bunch of bugs in pretty yellow stone. It helps us further map the biological history of many species.

SOURCES
Originally heard about this via The Week, 11/19/10

Bugs: Photojournalism on Discover Magazine
this must be what the source in The Week read
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/10/25/photos-insects-trapped-in-amber-offer-a-glimpse-of-prehistoric-bug-life/

Great article on amber
apparently DNA can survive a very long time encapsulated in amber...
http://discovermagazine.com/1993/aug/goldenwindowonal251/

A little more on plate tectonics of the region
http://discovermagazine.com/1996/jan/theindoaustralia639/

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
upaya
Dec. 10th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks, this stuff makes me giddy.
liveonearth
Dec. 11th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
Biogeek detector activated! (Me too -->giddy.)
ex_geekygab
Dec. 11th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
This is such tingle-inspiring news. I love it. Thank you for posting it!
liveonearth
Dec. 11th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
=-] Happy to hear you're happy too !
skyojos
Dec. 11th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
Wow. This is very cool! And the preservation is so beautiful.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

moon
liveonearth
liveonearth

Latest Month

August 2019
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars