Plants loss caused bee extinction

by Bethany Day on October 26, 2013

A loss of flowering plants caused by a huge asteroid impact 65 million years ago brought about a mass extinction of bees, scientists have claimed.

The US-based research team claimed that the massive extinction event, which is believed to have brought about the end of the dinosaurs, had catastrophic consequences for other species on Earth as well.

Scientists from the University of New Hampshire used a technique called molecular phylogenetics that looks at evolutionary relationships written in DNA. When analysing sequences from four main “tribes” of 230 carpenter bee species, the team found signs consistent with a mass extinction.

Study leader Dr Sandra Rehan said her team’s findings could have important implications for the decline in bee diversity currently experienced.

“If you could tell their whole story, maybe people would care more about protecting them. Understanding extinctions and the effects of declines in the past can help us understand the pollinator decline and the global crisis in pollinators today.”

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Bethany Day

Blogger and online PR guru for Interflora UK. Interested in guest-posting on our blog? Email or connect with me.

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