February 22, 2020
Harms Gallery at the Calvert Marine Museum
14200 Solomons Island Road
Solomons, MD 20688
Fossil Club Public Lecture - THE INCONSPICUOUS LIVES OF ANCIENT INSECTS
Saturday, February 22, 2020
THE INCONSPICUOUS LIVES OF ANCIENT INSECTS: FOSSIL EVIDENCE OF INSECT HERBIVORY ON PLANTS presented by Sarah Augusta (Gussie) MacCraken
The evolutionary history of plants and their insect adversaries is a story told by the scars on fossil leaves. Insect damage on a single leaf not only captures one moment in time when an insect fed upon a plant, but it also reflects the millions of years of evolution leading up to that moment. These minute and unassuming fossil traces also tell us a great deal about how terrestrial ecosystems functioned during periods of biotic turnover, climate change, and extinction events. For this talk, I will discuss my research on Late Cretaceous and early Paleocene plant-insect associations, including a newly discovered lyonetiid moth mite, the oldest evidence for plant-mite associations, insect herbivory during the rise and radiation of flowering plants, and a new project examining insect herbivory throughout the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction.