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Insect Pollination at Least 99 Million Years Old

Posted on 20 December 2019

There’s no doubt that flower pollination is a very old practice, but do you know exactly how ancient it is? Well, it’s at least 99 million years old, according to a fossil recently uncovered in Myanmar! 

The fossil is now the oldest known example of insect-to-flower pollination. It contains a tumbling flower beetle with pollen on its legs and is believed to have come from a time when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. The fossil is an extremely rare find, as it’s hard to come by a fossil with both the insect and pollen preserved. 

The discovery was made by a team of experts from across the world, including David Dilcher, an emeritus professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Earth, and Bo Wang, an amber fossil expert from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology. Before this fossil was found, the earliest evidence of insect pollination dated back to around 50 million years ago.