Palaeo Discussion Group - Dr Chenyang Cai, University of Bristol - Title: Burmese amber: 103 years of study and recent discoveries

15 February 2019, 1.00 PM - 15 February 2019, 2.00 PM

Dr Chenyang Cai, University of Bristol

Room G25, Reynolds Lecture Theatre, School of Earth Sciences, Wills Memorial Building

We are pleased to welcome Dr Chenyang Cai from the University of Bristol, who will be leading the Palaeo Discussion Group. 

Title: Burmese amber: 103 years of study and recent discoveries

Abstract:

Burmese amber (ca. 99 Ma) from northern Myanmar is a remarkable substance and one of the most significant ambers for studying terrestrial palaeodiversity in the Cretaceous. This amber has been thought to be produced by conifers (Cupressaceae or Araucariaceae) that lived in a moist tropical setting. Cockerell (1916) first recorded inclusions in this amber. Recent years have witnessed the rapid development of studies of Burmese amber, with some 320 species named in 2018, representing the highest number described from one amber source in any one year in the entire history of amber studies. Diverse invertebrates (Annelida, Nematoda, Onychophora, Platyhelminthes, and Arthropoda), vertebrates (birds, frogs, a dinosaur[!] and a snake), plants (mosses, conifers, cycads and flowers), and fungi. The insects, mostly represented by small ones like wasps, flies and beetles, are by far the most abundant and diverse group in Burmese amber. I will be focusing on my recent discoveries about fossil rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) from Burmese amber. These findings provide unique and important implications for understanding the early evolution of parental care in insects, origin of termitophily, palaeoethology, and for reconstructing the palaeoecosystem in the mid-Cretaceous.

All staff and students welcome.

Contact information

For further information please contact Dr. Liz Martin-Silverstone.

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