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昆虫翅膀4.06亿年前进化最复杂的昆虫家族树了

发布时间:2018-09-18 11:14 作者:admin 来源: 点击: 字号:

An international team of more than 100 scientists has undertaken a most complex and challenging task: they’;ve determined the timings and patterns of evolution for most of the insect family tree, until they arrived at at the original insect foremother which lived some 500 million years ago。 Thus, the researchers were able to pinpoint when the major insect groups, most still alive today, first surfaced on the world or when the first flying insects spread their wings。

The insect family tree

Studying ancient insects is no easy task。 Because they’;re so tiny and squishy, there’;s little fossil evidence to lie around。 Their sheer monstrous diversity both helps and doesn’;t at the same time。 Roughly 80% of the more than 1,6 million species of animals described by scientists today are insects or one out of two multicellular organisms (including plants)。 Really, there’;s no mistake –; insects rule the world now and will continue to do so for a long, long time。 We like to think us humans are really smart, but it’;s worth considering that the last human carcass will be consumed by insects; true story。 But for how long exactly have insects reigned the world?

The Australian Emperor Dragonfly is only a handful compared to its ancestors who measured more than 60cm。 Flickr/Daniel lightscaper, CC BY

The Australian Emperor Dragonfly is only a handful compared to its ancestors who measured more than 60cm。 Flickr/Daniel lightscaper, CC BY

The answer to this highly challenging question was attempted by a team made out of some of the world’;s most renowned biologists, taxonomists, geneticists and mathematicians, as part of the 1000 Insect Transcriptome Evolution project。 To this end, the researchers  used a DNA sequence dataset of unprecedented scale and new analysis techniques, in conjunction of course with fossil records。

本文源自: 环亚娱乐

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