A Fossil Bee from Early Cretaceous Burmese Amber

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Science  27 Oct 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5799, pp. 614
DOI: 10.1126/science.1134103

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The bee fossil record is fragmentary, making it difficult to accurately estimate the antiquity of bee-mediated pollination. Here, we describe a bee fossil [Melittosphex burmensis (new species), Melittosphecidae (new family)] from Early Cretaceous Burmese amber (~100 million years before the present). The fossil provides insights into the morphology of the earliest bees and provides a new minimum date for the antiquity of bees and bee-mediated pollination.

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