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Tag: iinsect dispersal

July 10th presentation – Understanding ontogeny in Deep Time: 29-million-year-old grasshopper ootheca (egg pod)

On Wednesday, July 10th, at 7:30 pm PDT the Victoria Palaeontology Society presents Jaemin Lee, PhD Candidate, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, who speak on the topic

Understanding ontogeny in Deep Time: 29-million-year-old grasshopper ootheca (egg pod).

VicPS members should check the email they’ve received about this event for virtual meeting connection details, or join us IN PERSON at the Uptown Community Room.

About the presentation:

Reproductive ecology and ontogeny play a critical role in insect dispersal which shapes their biogeographic patterns. Ontogenetic strategies, such as holometaboly, are some of the most important traits contributing to the evolutionary success of insects. However, understanding the non-adult life history traits in Deep Time is challenging due to their ephemeral and soft-bodied nature.

I described a grasshopper egg pod using microtomography from the Oligocene John Day Formation, Oregon, together with Nick Famoso (NPS Paleontologist at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument) and Angela Lin (X-ray imaging core Director at University of Oregon). The specimen, preserving ~50 slightly-curved elliptic eggs and also the ovipositional strategy of laying an underground ootheca, represents the oldest fossilized grasshopper ootheca and also the first known orthopteran eggs in the fossil record. Due to the rarity of fossil insect eggs, systematic praxis have yet been established to systematically study them. However, the number of described fossil insect eggs has rapidly increased in the past decade, and is likely to continue increasing. So we proposed to apply an ootaxonomic system when studying fossilized insect eggs, to establish a standardized systematic practice, which is already practiced in fossil amniote eggs; and an ichnotaxonomic system that describes the ootheca-laying behavior, which has convergently evolved several times among insects.

Check out the research article or this CNN article to learn more!