Almost 100 million years ago, a small and unhappy boom died after wandering into a sticky depth of resin flowing from wood to a region near modern-day Southeast Asia. Fossilized in amber, this bug eventually made its way to the desk of entomologist Joe Parker, assistant professor of biology and biological engineering at Caltech. Parker and his colleagues have now found that the perfectly preserved juice fossil is the most well-known example of an animal in terms of the behavior of symbiotics.
A paper describing the work appears on April 16 in the magazine eLife.
Symbiotic connections between the two species appeared constantly during the evolution of the animals. These relationships range from mutually beneficial associations, such as humans and their pet dogs, to parasitic, as a tane and its host.
Some of the most complex examples of behavioral symbiosis occur between ants and other types of small insects, called mirmecofiles – meaning "ants lovers". Thanks to the ability of the ants to form complex social colonies, they can deter predators and supply food resources, making the ants nests a very desirable habitat. Mermecofiles show elaborate social behaviors and chemical adaptations to deceive ants and live among them, collecting the benefits of a safe environment and plentiful food.
The social behavior of the ants first appears in the fossil record of 99 million years ago, during the period of chalk in the Mesozoic era, and is believed to have evolved much earlier in the early chalk. Now, the discovery of a fossil of chalk mirermophiles implies that free insects have already used the earliest societies of the ants. The discovery means that the myrmecofiles were constantly present among the anticholonyas of the earliest descent and that this social parasitic way of living can survive in vast expanses of evolutionary times.
"This relationship with a chew and an ant is the oldest antibiotic symbiosis nowadays known in the animal kingdom," says Parker. "This fossil shows that symbiosis can be a very successful long-term survival strategy for animal growers."
The fossilized beetle, called Promirmister Cystnery, belongs to the subfamily of "clowns" bugs (Hayterina), all of which are modern types of miremofiles. These modern bugs are so specialized in life among ants that they will die without their ants and will develop extreme adaptations to infiltrate the colonies. The beetles are physically well protected by a thick body reservoir and robust supplements, and can mimic the nesting phenomena of host ants, allowing them to mask the colony. They also secrete compounds that are thought to be calming or appealing to the ants, helping the bugs to gain acceptance of their aggressive hosts. The fossilized Promermister is a similar insect healthy, with thick legs, a protective head and congenital vents that the researchers theorize the frail chemicals in order to calm down their primitive antifouling.
<div data-thumb = "https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/csz/news/tmb/2019/1-thesebeetles.jpg" data-src = "https: //3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn. net / newman / gfx / news / hires / 2019/1-thesebeetles.jpg "data-sub-html =" Detailed images of the morphology of the dwarf through its amber collection Credit: eLife">
Depending on other species, so much for survival has its own risks; indeed, the disappearance of the host's kind would be catastrophic for the symbiote. The similarities between the fossilized beetle and its modern relatives suggest that certain adaptations of the microphilic clown beetles first developed in the colonies of the early "dark groups" that have long been extinct. Due to the extreme similarity of Promermister with modern clown beetles, Parker and his associates conclude that bugs must have a "hosted on" in colonies of modern ants to avoid extinction. This adaptability of symbiotic organisms that move between partner species during evolution can be essential to the long-term stability of these complex relationships among themselves.
The newspaper is entitled "The Mesozoic Clowns Boom Mormecofil (Coleoptera: Histeridae)".
Convergent artists: How dwarf trees are constantly developing into parasites of the army
Yu-Lingi Zhou et al., The Mesozoic Clown Bouquet of Mere Memo (Coleoptera: Histeridae), eLife (2019). DOI: 10.7554 / eLife.44985
These bugs have been successfully removed for 100 million years (2019, April 17)
received April 17, 2019
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