Sunday, 19 August 2018

Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus: A Cycad-associated Beetle from Cretaceous Burmese Amber.

Cycad’s are of particular interest to botanists and horticulturalists due to their unique evolutionary heritage; they are Gymnosperms (non-flowering Seed Plants), members of the group that includes Conifers and Ginkos, but among the closest non-flowering relatives of the Angiosperms (Flowering Plants). They large attractive plants, superficially resembling Palms, but producing large and often brightly coloured strobili, structures intermediate between cones and flowers; these are often pollinated by Beetles or Thrips.  Cycads are thought to have originated during the Permian, and became dominant Plants in many ecosystems during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, but suffered heavily during the End Cretaceous Extinction, and there are about 330 species surviving today, predominantly in the Southern Hemisphere, most of which diversity is thought to have arisen from a post-Cretaceous radiation.

In a paper published in the journal Current Biology on 16 August 2018, Chenyang Cai of the Key Laboratory of Economic Stratigraphy and Palaeogeography at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, the Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, Hermes Escalona of the Centre for Molecular Biodiversity Research at the Museum Alexander Koenig, and the Australian National Insect Collection, Liqin Li, also of the Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and of the State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Ziwei Yin of the Department of Biology at Shanghai Normal University, Diying Huang, again of the the Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, and  Michael Engel of the Division of Entomology at the Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas, the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, also at the University of Kansas, describe a new species of Cycad associated Beetle from Cretaceous Burmese Amber.

Cretaceous ‘Burmese Amber’ has been extensively worked at several sites across northern Myanmar (though mostly in Kachin State) in the last 20 years. The amber is fairly clear, and often found in large chunks, providing an exceptional window into the Middle Cretaceous Insect fauna. This amber is thought to have started out as the resin of a Coniferous Tree, possibly a Cypress or an Araucaria, growing in a moist tropical forest. This amber has been dated to between 105 and 95 million years old, based upon pollen inclusions, and to about 98.8 million years by uranium/lead dating of ash inclusions in the amber.

The new Beetle is named Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus, where 'Cretoparacucujus' derives from 'Cretaceous' and 'Paracucujus', a modern genus of Beetles to which the nes species is thought to be related, and 'cycadophilus' means 'Cycad-lover'. It is considered to be a member of the Boganiidae, a small group of Beetles related to Ladybirds and Fungus Beetles, which are specialist pollen-feeders and pollinators, and within that group to the Paracucujinae, which are pollen-feedimg Beetles found today in southern Africa, Australia and New Caledonia.

Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus. (A) General habitus, dorsal view, under epifluorescence. (B) Head, dorsal view, under normal reflected light. Cai et al. (2018).

Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus has a large, wide head and a smooth, hairless surface. It has large hair-lines cavities on its mandibles, a feature associated with pollen-feeding. It appears to be closely related to the living genera Paracucujus from southwestern Australia, which is associated with the  Cycad Macrozamia riedlei, and Metacucujus, which is found in Southern Africa and associated with Cycads of the genus Encephalartos.

The Beetle was found associated with a number of pollen grains which appear to have been derived from a Cycad. Cai et al. note that such pollen-grains are hard to identify, as Cycad pollen is similar to the pollen of  Bennettitales, Czekanowskiales, Ginkgoales, Peltaspermales, Pentoxylales, and a few basal Angiosperm lineages, but feel that the excellent three-dimensional preservation of the pollen in amber allows for confident assignment. This is the first time Cycad remains have been described from Burmese amber, either as pollen or as fragments of plant material. The pollen grains are found in clumps, rather than individually, which is generally a feature of Insect (rather than wind) pollination, something which may explain the general absence of Cycad pollen from Burmese Amber.

Photomicrographs of Cycad pollen grains Associated with  Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus. (A) General view of Cretoparacucujus cycadophilus and aggregations of pollen grains by the beetle. (A’) Enlargement of an aggregation of three pollen grains. (A’’) Enlargement of a single grain. (B) Enlargement of three larger aggregations of pollen grains. (C) Enlargement of (B), showing 14 aggregated pollen grains. (D) Enlargement of (B), showing six aggregated pollen grains. Cai et al. (2018).

The Cycads Macrozamia  and Encephalartos are also closely related, forming the Tribe Encephalarteae. Genetic studies have suggested that these Cycads shared a most recent common ancestor in the Miocene, but this is in conflict with their distribution, on two fragments of the Gondwanan continent that split apart in the Jurassic. The discoverey of a Beetle that appears to have been associated with this group of Cycads in amber from the Cretaceous of Myanmar supports the idea that this group of Cycads is more ancient than assumed from molecular-clock evidence.

Geographic distribution of the known entomophilous Cycads of the Tribe Encephalarteae and their Boganiid pollinators. The phylogenetic relationships and divergence time of the widely separated lineages within Boganiinae are shown. The arrow indicates the divergence time estimated by separation of Gondwana in the Jurassic. Abbreviations: AU, Australia; MM, Myanmar; ZA, South Africa. Cai et al. (2018).

See also...
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.


  1. Mohon maaf jika postingan ini menyinggung perasaan anda tapi saya hanya mau menceritakan pengalaman pribadi saya yang mengubah kehidupan saya menjadi sukses sekarang. dulu Saya bekerja di Singapura, tapi saya tidak menyerah dengan keadaan saya, tetap ikhtiar. Dulu pengen pulang ke indonesia tapi gak ada ongkos. sempat saya putus asa,gaji pun selalu di kirim ke indonesia untuk biaya anak sekolah, sedangkan hutang banyak, kebetulan buka-buka internet mendapatkan nomor hp Mbah Suro +6282354640471 katanya bisa bantu orang melunasi hutang melalui jalan Pesugihan Dana Ghaib. dengan keadaan susah jadi saya coba beranikan diri hubungi dan berkenalan dengan beliau Mbah Suro, Dan saya menceritakan keadaan saya. Beliau menyarankan untuk mengatasi masalah perekonomian saya dengan Pesugihan Dana Ghaib nya. Dan alhamdulillah benar-benar terbukti nyata hasil nya sekarang. terima kasih banyak ya allah atas semua rerjekimu ini. Beliau juga bisa bantu seperti Pemasangan nomer Togel,pelet, dll



    Are you Seeking for a LEGIT HACKER Who Will Get Your Job Done Efficiently With Swift Response???? Congratulations, Your Search Ends Right Here With Us.

    • We are a Team Of Professional HACKERS , a product of the coming together of Legit Hackers from the Dark-Web, (pentaguard,CyberBerkut, RedHack , Black Hat, White Hack ) we have been existing for for years, Our Team houses a separate group of specialists/Hackers who are productively focussed and established authorities in different platforms. They hail from a proven track record Called “HackerOne” and have cracked even the toughest of barriers to intrude and capture or recapture all relevant datas needed by our Clients. Some Of These Hackers Includes PETER YAWORSKI, FRANS ROSEN, JACK CABLE, JOBERT ABMA, ARNE SWINNEN And More

     • Frankly speaking, I always give a 100% guarantee on any job we are been asked to do, because we have always been successful in All our jobs for over 20years and our clients can testify to that .To hack anything needs time though, but we can provide a swift response to your job depending on how fast and urgent you need it. Time also depends on what exactly you want to hack and how serious you are. Enough time with social engineering is required for hacking. So if you want to bind us in a short time, then just don't contact us because We can't hack within 5-10minutes, *sorry*. Basically, time depends on your luck. If its good luck, then it is possible to hack within 5-10minutes but, if it is in the other way round, it would take few minutes or hours. I have seen FAKE HACKERS claiming they can hack in 5min, but there is no REAL HACKER who can say this (AVOID THEM).

    There are so many Reasons why people need to hire a hacker, It might be to Hack a Websites to deface informations, retrieve informations, edit informations or give you admin access.
    • Some people might need us To Hack Their Target Smartphone so that they could get access to all activities on the phone like , text messages , call logs , Social media Apps and other informations
    • Some might need to Hack a Facebook , gmail, Instagram , twitter and other social media Accounts,
    • Also Some Individuals might want to Track someone else's Location probably for investigation cases
    • Some might need Us to Hack into Court's Database to Clear criminal records.
    • However, Some People Might Have Lost So Much Funds With BINARY OPTIONS BROKERS or BTC MINING and wish to Recover Their Funds
    • All these Are what we can get Done Asap With The Help Of Our Root HackTools, Special HackTools and Our Technical Hacking Strategies Which Surpasses All Other Hackers.

    * Credit Cards Loading ( USA Only )
    * BANK Account Loading (USA Banks Only)

    ★ You can also contact us for other Cyber Attacks And Hijackings, we do All ★

    * For Binary Options Recovery
    * For Other Hacking Services
    Wickr: compositehacks


  3. Hack Ethics is a Verified Experienced Binary Options Recovery Specialist and Professional Hacker that provides the experience, intelligence, expertise in Asset Recovery and successfully solve ANY DESIRED HACKING SERVICES YOU WANT with ease.

    People have lost their hard earned money through this BINARY OPTIONS TRADINGS, yet they would go to meet FAKE HACKERS who are also scammers unknowingly to help them recover their money and they would end up losing more money in the process. These Scammers also tend to put Fake Testimonies out there just to steal more from you by giving you False hope. I understand how heartbreaking it is to be a BINARY OPTIONS SCAM VICTIM after you've been promised your fortune by Binary Companies and then they ignore your Emails or Calls after stealing from you.  I'm taking every step to render solution to those innocent people affected and help them get every penny they lost.  CONTACT  EMAIL  -  HACKETHICS008@GMAIL.COM