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A key to Darwin’s “abominable mystery"

Angiosperms rapidly developed during mid-Cretaceous time. In 1879, Sir. Charles Darwin describe this phenomenon as “abominable mystery”. 140 years passed, more and more scientists hypothesized that insects are thought to have pollinated flowering plants during the Cretaceous Period, when flowering plants rapidly diversified. However, direct evidence of insect pollination of Cretaceous flowering plants is lacking. Tong Bao et al. report the discovery of a tumbling flower beetle preserved in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber that bears evidence of insect pollination of flowering plants.


Related article:
Tong Bao, Bo Wang, Jianguo Li, and David Dilcher, 2019, Pollination of Cretaceous flowers,PNAS,116 (49) 24707-24711.