Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Still another transitional form

Despite the endlessly repeated contention of Creationists that there are no transitional forms in the fossil record, one more transitional form joins the many others that scientists have already described.

G.O. Poinar, Jr., and B.N. Danforth report (subscription required) a fossil bee preserved in amber of Early Cretaceous age found in Myanmar. The fossil bears some traits common to modern bees, indicating they had evolved fairly early. However, before someone from the Discovery Institute claims this merely shows bees have been around since Creation, er, since they were designed, the authors point out that these bees are extinct. More importantly, following the detailed anatomical description, they say
This mosaic of wasp and bee traits is to be expected from an early transitional form that bridges the gap between extant bees and crabronid wasps.

Source: Science, 314(5799):614, 27 October 2006.


Blogger Paul Decelles said...

Even some bees today can be pretty hard to tell from Sphecids. I wonder what the mouthparts are like.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Paul, Other than mentioning the elongate, tridentate mandibles visible in the figure, neither the article nor the online supplemental material says anything about mouthparts. --Mark

5:57 PM  

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