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In Germany, found the remains of a fly that lived 47 million years ago

In Germany in the sediments of the Messel pit Scientists have discovered a 47-million-year-old fossil fly with a belly full of pollen.

Research results published in the journal Current Biology.

This discovery is the first direct evidence that some species of ancient flies fed on microspores of various subtropical plant species. Long hairs known as bristles were found on the fly’s abdomen. It is assumed that with their help, flies could carry pollen, moving from flower to flower.

“The rich pollen content we found in the stomach of flies suggests that the flies were already feeding on and carrying pollen 47 million years ago, and shows that it played an important role in the distribution of pollen from several plant taxa,” says botanist Frigir Grimsson of the University of Vienna …

The extracted pollen was dominated by grains from plants of the species Decodon verticillatus and Parthenocíssus quinquefolia (maiden grapes). Today, Decodon verticillatus is a semi-shrub that grows in wetlands and shallow lakes. Both plants grew in the past near Lake Messel. This means that the ancient fly preferred to feed where it lived, avoiding long-distance flights.

According to Sonia Vedman, an employee of the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main, scientists do not exclude that flies could play an even more important role in the process of pollination in that period than bees for tropical plants.

“The fact that we found pollen in the stomach of an ancient fly suggests that the insect played an important role in the Jurassic period.”, – write the authors of the study.

As “Apostrophe” reported, an international group of paleontological scientists concluded that insects that lived about 50 million years ago and had a strange head shape, can be considered the ancient relatives of dragonflies.

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