The 100-million-year-old burrows confirm that bees diversified alongside early flowering plants.
A new fossil find has set paleontologists abuzz: Ancient nests confirm that bees were alive and well in Patagonia 100 million years ago, marking the oldest fossil evidence for modern bees.
The nests, described recently in the journal PLOS ONE, consist of tunnels studded with grape-shaped alcoves, where the ancient bees’ larvae could mature undisturbed.
The find adds crucial detail to the evolutionary story of bees, one of the most important pollinator groups, and helps confirm that bees and some of the first flowering plants diversified in tandem around 110 to 120 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous.
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