Flower-Associated Brachycera Flies as Fossil Evidence for Jurassic Angiosperm Origins

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Science  03 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5360, pp. 85-88
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5360.85

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Pollinating insects played a decisive role in the origin and early evolution of the angiosperms. Pollinating orthorrhaphous Brachycera fossils (short-horned flies) collected from Late Jurassic rocks in Liaoning Province of northeast China provide evidence for a pre-Cretaceous origin of angiosperms. Functional morphology and comparison with modern confamilial taxa show that the orthorrhaphous Brachycera were some of the most ancient pollinators. These data thus imply that angiosperms originated during the Late Jurassic and were represented by at least two floral types.

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