Amber is not only popular as jewelry, it is also popular with paleontologists: when it was formed, petrified tree resin regularly contained parts of animals or plants that survived to this day Huh. The regions found in the Chinese region of Zhangpu are particularly rich, where a team led by Bo Wang from the Nan Wang Institute of Geology and Palaeontology evaluated about 25,000 amber samples with fossils and another 5,000 plant fossils, and Put them together to make a picture of him. Ecosystem of the time. The group published its study in “Science Advances”.
According to Wang and co, the collection is by far the richest of any tropical rainforest ecosystem. Along with fossils of large animals, it reflects extraordinary biodiversity in the 14.7 million-year-old forest from the Miocene. Wang’s group found 78 tree species, as well as several seeds of Dipterocarpus and legumes, which still dominate the rainforests of Southeast Asia. At that time, their distribution reached further north in a warmer world.
The collection is even more invertebrate-rich: scientists counted representatives of 250 families of spiders, mites, millipedes and other arthropods, as well as 200 families of pests. Therefore this site is already one of the four most species-rich amber deposits on Earth. The fauna of the insects in Zhangpu included ants, stick insects, termites and grasshoppers, which are now confined to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and New Guinea. Many of the species are also genera that still exist.
The results showed that the Asian insect community of rainforests has remained intact since the Miocene, scientists write. And he proved that the relative ecological stability of these forests also ensures that the number of species increases over time. This makes them more valuable, which we suspect.
Wang’s team suggests that the emergence of tropical forests in Zhangpu was related to warmer winters in the area. As a result, conditions were relatively stable all year round.
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