As the researcher Alba Sánchez (UB-IRBio), first author of the article, explains, “the specimen studied in this work presents a series of morphological adaptations that indicate that it must have lived on the surface of the water.” “For this reason,” he adds, “holding the female by means of the antennae would have been vital to guarantee the fertilization process. In addition, it is very likely that the male exhibited complex dances or rituals using the modified antennae, as it happens in his current relatives. The researcher emphasizes that “this discovery is very significant, because it represents the first evidence of courtship behavior in the entire fossil record of collembola, which would already be occurring 105 million years ago.” The oldest evidence of gregarious behavior In some species of Collembola, individuals tend to aggregate and even form masses of millions of individuals
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that migrate considerable distances above Qatar Email List the soil surface (swarming). In the framework of the investigation, the scientific team has also discovered in another piece of amber an aggregation of 45 collembola of the fossil species Proisotoma communis. This finding constitutes the oldest evidence of gregarious behavior in the order of springtails, since the only record known so far is an aggregation of springtails in amber from the Dominican Republic from about 18 million years ago. In the words of the expert Enrique Peñalver (IGME), «in a piece of amber with a surface area of less than one square centimeter we have discovered a small snapshot of what was happening on the floor of the resin forest: along with small feces, fungal hyphae and remains Half-decomposed plants, collembola are shown trapped in a grouping, just as they were 105 million years ago ».
«The discoveries presented by the new article in the journal PLOS ONE show us the great antiquity of certain behaviors for reproduction in hexapods, as well as pre-social behaviors and certain morphological adaptations to facilitate contact between males and females. As these behaviors extend to the present day, it can be deduced that the pressures of natural selection may not have changed much in millions of years for these small organisms, ”the authors conclude. The article, financed by national and regional government funds and with the collaboration of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Álava (Vitoria-Gasteiz), is part of the research of the Amberia group and the Consolidated Research Group of Sedimentary Geology of the University of Barcelona. Image: A team from the University of Barcelona and the Geological and MininAn international study led by