Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Moths, butterflies came first, then flowers, new research shows

Primitive moths This fossilized scale bedecked either a moth or a butterfly that lived some 200 million years ago. Credit Bas van de Schootbrugge
Kristine Garrett | 12 January, 2018, 16:35

Experts say they are the earliest fossilised evidence of the insects, and shed fresh light on their evolution - and also that of their butterfly relatives. "But that would be 50 million years later than what the wings were saying".

While many other species and entire genera were dying out, butterflies seemed to be doing very well for themselves.

But the newly discovered moths emerged before flower producing plants - or angiosperms - suggesting another reason.

As it turned out, the features were scales from the wings of moths and butterflies. The hollow scales provided clues for another mystery, this one concerning the insects' mouths.

The scales were randomly placed in 26 metres of rock layers embracing the Triassic-Jurassic boundary near a village called Schandelah in Lower Saxony.

"We found the microscopic remains of these organisms in the form of these scales", said Bas van de Schootbrugge from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. "Exceptionally well-preserved specimens were recovered". A Triassic-Jurassic window into the evolution of Lepidoptera. However, a new discovery from a group of researchers at Utrecht University defies that rule and suggests the butterflies thrived several hundred million years ago, way before the first flowering plants came to be.

That's what scientists found after analyzing 70 fossils of wing scales and scale fragments unearthed in northern Germany.

The existence of proboscis in prehistoric butterflies before the existence of the flowering plants strongly indicates that proboscis had some different utility apart from the sucking nectar from flower. Size of the scale bar is 1 cm.

"If you find the hollow scales", van Eldijk told Rebecca Hersher of NPR, "you know the innovation of the proboscis must have occurred before that".

According to oldest fossils studied to date, flowering plants appeared around 130 million years ago, 70 million years after the Triassic mass-extinction event or when these insects lived.

These days, glossatan moths depend on flowering plants, known as angiosperms, for food.

It is possible that Lepidopterans fed on gymnosperms such as flowerless cycads, conifers, and gingko trees when they first existed. The fossilised remains revealed signs of a proboscis, which has always been believed to have evolved with flowering plants. He added that the discovery of the fossils propose this group of butterflies which evolved along with flowers is actually older than we think.

"Because free liquid drinking is an efficient technique to replenish lost moisture and survive desiccation stress, substitution of mandibulate mouthparts by a sucking proboscis could be seen as an adaptation to adequate maintenance of body water balance of small, short-lived moths".

Experts found evidence of proboscis on some of the insects, a long needle-like tube that was thought to have evolved to reach into flowering plants, but - based on the findings - may have originally developed for another goal.

Recommended

  • Purchases 14634 Shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC)

    Purchases 14634 Shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC)

    Moreover, Gulf Financial Bank (Uk) Limited has 0.31% invested in Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) for 155,734 shares. Analysts expect a 0.1% monthly uptick, with the annual pace cooling to 2.1% from 2.2%, while the core rate holds at 1.7%.
    Former Big Brother star Rebekah Shelton has died, aged 32

    Former Big Brother star Rebekah Shelton has died, aged 32

    Rebekah said: "At one point before my surgery I had to leave home, and for six months of my life I turned to prostitution". I'm so sorry." Another added, "I remember watching her on Big Brother a few years ago and I loved her personality.
    Kylie Jenner Wants To Keep Pregnancy Private, Source Claims

    Kylie Jenner Wants To Keep Pregnancy Private, Source Claims

    Raise your hand if you're still secretly hoping Kylie will take pity on us and announce her pregnancy on KUWTK this weekend. Until then, Jenner is doing what she can to enjoy her pregnancy in private.
  • Liverpool winger Ryan Kent joins Bristol City on loan

    Liverpool winger Ryan Kent joins Bristol City on loan

    Leeds United and Sheffield United target Ryan Kent has joined Bristol City on loan from Liverpool , according to the Times . He is available to make his debut against Norwich on Saturday after being recalled from Bundesliga side Freiburg.

    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) Shares Bought by ProShare Advisors LLC

    BMO Capital Markets restated a "market weight" rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. Jay Petschek increased its stake in F M C Corp (FMC) by 310.21% based on its latest 2017Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC.
    Health officials warn of hepatitis A at West Jordan 7-Eleven

    Health officials warn of hepatitis A at West Jordan 7-Eleven

    It is in Robinson's opinion that there was a zero percent chance that the donated food was contaminated by the infected employee. The Utah County Health Department has issued a warning about possible exposure to Hepatitis A at a third Spanish Fork business.
  • Czech Republic starts voting for president

    Czech Republic starts voting for president

    Babis said the opposition only wanted to offend him and show off as the parliamentary session was broadcast live by television. If the talks stretch out beyond then, Mr Babis may have a harder time with some of Mr Zeman's opponents.
    I don't want to frustrate Theo Walcott - Arsene Wenger

    I don't want to frustrate Theo Walcott - Arsene Wenger

    The 28-year-old has not started a single Premier League game for the Gunners this term but is attracting interest from elsewhere. Everton are interested in signing Walcott and Wenger has conceded that the player is possibly becoming "frustrated" at Arsenal .
    Rauner Ad Featuring Missouri Governor Will No Longer Play

    Rauner Ad Featuring Missouri Governor Will No Longer Play

    The claim that this almost three-year old story has generated or should generate law enforcement interest is completely false. Eric Greitens , the 43-year-old governor of Missouri, confirmed he had cheated before he was elected to office in 2016.
  • Hospitals to delay non urgent operations — NHS winter crisis

    Hospitals to delay non urgent operations — NHS winter crisis

    The East and North Herts NHS Trust say their hospitals - including the Lister, New QE2 and Hertford - are very busy at the moment. The health secretary has apologised for non-urgent surgeries being postponed - saying it's " absolutely not what I want ".
    Arizona trails Oregon State 22-21 at halftime

    Arizona trails Oregon State 22-21 at halftime

    Beating one of them would give the Ducks an important win over a Top 20 team, which it now lacks on their postseason resume. Arizona State scored 11 consecutive points with 6:02 left in the 1st Half, making the game 31-18 in favor of Arizona State.
    Android Go branded smartphones to come soon

    Android Go branded smartphones to come soon

    One of the interesting features of Nokia 8 is "Bothie" that allows using both the front and back cameras at the same time. Other smartphone makers will then follow the suit and launch their Android Oreo Go Edition handsets in early 2018.

UK's May announces 25-year environmental plan, including plastic waste reduction UK's May announces 25-year environmental plan, including plastic waste reduction Marcus Glover, chief executive at WRAP, said: "So far the solutions to plastics waste have been piecemeal". The environment department headed by Michael Gove authored the plan and published it on Thursday.

Japanese PM Abe Rejects South Korea's Latest Stance On Sex Slavery Deal Japanese PM Abe Rejects South Korea's Latest Stance On Sex Slavery Deal South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said the agreement with Japan was "seriously flawed" and made without proper consultation. Meanwhile, Abe, who has a right-wing support base, is also playing to the public gallery.

Long delays at under-pressure Lincolnshire hospitals Long delays at under-pressure Lincolnshire hospitals This has meant that the trust has had to cancel some operations. "We didn't know what was what", Butler-Smith told BuzzFeed News. She said: "Health staff across Scotland are dedicated to helping patients and are doing a fantastic job in hard circumstances".

Clippers dump Kings to cap NorCal sweep Clippers dump Kings to cap NorCal sweep Next time the Kings will take the hardwood will be Saturday night when they will play the Los Angeles Clippers again. Both teams were feeling it offensively, but in the end, the Clippers still won the period by a score of 43-39.

British Prime Minister Theresa May to reshuffle cabinet on Monday British Prime Minister Theresa May to reshuffle cabinet on Monday The small scale of this reshuffle reveals the Prime Minister's weakened political position ... but, she's still there. The SNP's Stephen Gethins said: " Brexit hardliners hold the power in the government and can not be moved".

ICE raids send 'strong message' to employers of undocumented workers ICE raids send 'strong message' to employers of undocumented workers In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained almost 400 workers. Authorities said at least one person was arrested after ICE conducted immigration raids at 98 convenient stores nationwide.

BB&T Corp Purchases 3185 Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) BB&T Corp Purchases 3185 Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Cornercap Investment Counsel holds 0.11% or 36,090 shares. (NASDAQ:AMBC) has risen 2.68% since January 11, 2017 and is uptrending. JPMorgan Chase & Co. accounts for about 2.3% of Loeb Partners Corp's holdings, making the stock its 7th biggest position.

Infosys Q3 net profit up 38.3%, revenue at Rs 17794 crore Infosys Q3 net profit up 38.3%, revenue at Rs 17794 crore The company's net profit also rose 38.3% in the third quarter of 2017-'18 compared to that in the third quarter of 2016-'17. In dollar terms, the company reported a sequential revenue growth of 1 per cent. ".Our Q3 performance is strong".

Sean O'Brien is an injury doubt for the Six Nations Sean O'Brien is an injury doubt for the Six Nations O'Brien's most likely tournament return will be Ireland's third match, against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 24. Leinster have also said there is no timeline for Adam Byrne's return to action.

No wedding, no 'Crown': What's a royal obsessive to do? No wedding, no 'Crown': What's a royal obsessive to do? The Queen recounted: 'Well, I remember one moment when I was going against the pile of the carpet and I couldn't move at all'. Looking at the crown, the Queen said: 'Fortunately, my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head.

UFC Legend Vitor Belfort Set to Retire Following Bout With Uriah Hall UFC Legend Vitor Belfort Set to Retire Following Bout With Uriah Hall His use of testosterone-replacement therapy up until Nevada banned the treatment in 2014 also stirred controversy. The much-anticipated meeting of the pair in Las Vegas was paused by referee John McCarthy after just 49 seconds.

Google Duo App Makes Calls Without Installation Google Duo App Makes Calls Without Installation Well, that's not a problem anymore, as now you can make Duo calls to even those who don't have the app installed on their devices. Reports, however, say this ability to make Duo calls to even those who aren't using the app is now restricted to Android users.

$50K Powerball ticket sold at gas station $50K Powerball ticket sold at gas station Visit palottery.com for winning numbers, rules, chances of winning, and to join the VIP Players Club for second chances to win. A player who purchased a ticket in Soldiers Grove won $150,000 in the drawing by adding the Power Play option.

Saudi Arabia Gets It's First Women-Only Car Showroom Saudi Arabia Gets It's First Women-Only Car Showroom The SCTH had previously announced the start of tourism visa issuance would be announced during the first quarter of 2018. Cinemas, which have been banned in the ultra-conservative country for 35 years, are also set to open in March.

Virgil van Dijk insists £75m price tag is a compliment Virgil van Dijk insists £75m price tag is a compliment Liverpool have already signed Virgil van Dijk this month and are prepared to seal their 2nd January signing to replace Coutinho. And speaking to Jamie Carragher for Sky Sports , the towering defender said he is not nervous over the large price tag.