Ancient Bees Died out Same Time as Dinosaurs
A new study has been released which says that whatever wiped out the dinosaurs over millions of years ago is the same event that hurt ancient bees as well and that they died out at the same time.
It is documented in the report that scientists noticed an extensive destruction of bees that happened over 65 million years ago. This would have been at the very time the dinosaurs were killed. The study is being printed this week in PLOS ONE, which is a scientific journal, and it might help lead to an explanation of why bees are in such a current deterioration mode.
A team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire were looking at the DNA from four various types of bees from each of the continents when they began to notice something odd. They were observing fossils and it appeared through DNA examination to show that the bees suffered a serious decline at the time of the dinosaurs end.
The study’s main writer explained that they were able to track periods of change and stasis. There was a time on the earth where there was no genetic variation happening. This lasted over millions of years. That was a sign that a mass extinction had happened. They modeled the extinction idea into the carpenter bee group, because the evolutionary past of this group of bee can be mapped out all the way back to the Cretaceous Period and that was when dinosaurs were walking on the Earth.
The time period matches almost perfectly with the era in which scientists consider the dinosaurs to have been wiped out.The research team believes that at least 90 percent of the ancient bee population that existed at the same time died right just the same.
The UNH team did not look for potential relationships between the dinosaur and bee extinctions, but they said the timing alone was what did the talking.
These newest findings propose that ancient bees were gone for around 10 million years before the bees we know today came into being. By using the fossil records and the DNA study, the researchers were able to figure out that time frame and put it into the equation. This helped them learn how the bees are related and also how old they are.
Besides learning more about the ancient bee extinction, researchers hope this study might aid in giving help on the current bee decline all around the world. Because as bees grow absent, crops that rely on them for pollination are also in grave danger.
The author also explained that the bee results were “unprecedented.” She hopes that the next step is to be able to find out which bees were able to survive through that extinction period.
This study may also have implications in how to stop the loss in variety of bees now. They are an essential species for agriculture to grow and for them to go extinct again would be a nightmare for the world, and that is putting it lightly.
It must be understood about global extinctions and what effects of the bee population declines in the past did to hurt the Earth. The bee population is in a major crisis today and it must be aided in any way possible, the research lead exclaimed. The ancient bee may have died out at the same time as dinosaurs but we cannot afford to lose bees in the world today.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble