A Late Cretaceous amber biota from central Myanmar

Daran Zheng, Su Chin Chang, Vincent Perrichot, Suryendu Dutta, Arka Rudra, Lin Mu, Richard S. Kelly, Sha Li, Qi Zhang, Qingqing Zhang, Jean Wong, Jun Wang, He Wang, Yan Fang, Haichun Zhang, Bo Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
348 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Insect faunas are extremely rare near the latest Cretaceous with a 24-million-year gap spanning from the early Campanian to the early Eocene. Here, we report a unique amber biota from the Upper Cretaceous (uppermost Campanian ~72.1 Ma) of Tilin, central Myanmar. The chemical composition of Tilin amber suggests a tree source among conifers, indicating that gymnosperms were still abundant in the latest Campanian equatorial forests. Eight orders and 12 families of insects have been found in Tilin amber so far, making it the latest known diverse insect assemblage in the Mesozoic. The presence of ants of the extant subfamilies Dolichoderinae and Ponerinae supports that tropical forests were the cradle for the diversification of crown-group ants, and suggests that the turnover from stem groups to crown groups had already begun at ~72.1 Ma. Tilin amber biota fills a critical insect faunal gap and provides a rare insight into the latest Campanian forest ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3170
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2018

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