Monday, November 10, 2014

Insect Evolution Solved!

Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution. 2014. B. Misof, et. al. Science

Ant-Man © Marvel Comics

Using a dataset consisting of 144 carefully chosen species, 1KITE scientists present reliable estimates on the dates of origin and relationships of all major insect groups based on the enormous molecular dataset they collected. They show that insects originated at the same time as the earliest terrestrial plants about 480 million years ago.

Their analyses therefore suggest that insects and plants shaped the earliest terrestrial ecosystems together, with insects developing wings to fly 400 million years ago, long before any other animal could do so, and at nearly the same time that land plants first grew substantially upwards to form forests. PR