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THE OLDEST ANTS ARE CRETACEOUS, NOT EOCENE: COMMENT

  • David Grimaldi (a1) and Donat Agosti (a1)

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The recent paper by Poinar et al. (1999), entitled “New amber deposit provides evidence of early paleogene extinctions, paleoclimates, and past distributions,” reports a new deposit of fossiliferous amber from the Eocene of British Columbia. This report of a significant discovery by one of the co-authors (Bruce Archibald) is compromised by unexplained statements that ants in this amber are the “earliest unequivocal ants.” They cited unpublished cladograms by Cesare Baroni Urbani as the source of information that showed that previous reports of ants in Cretaceous amber were not really ants.

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1 Author to whom all corresponding should be addressed (E-mail: grimaldi@amnh.org).

References

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Bolton, B. 1994. Identification Guide to the Ant Genera of the World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press
Brothers, D.J. 1999. Phylogeny and evolution of wasps, ants and bees (Hymenotpera, Chrysidoidea, Vespoidea and Apoidea). Zoologica Scripta 28: 23349
Carpenter, J.M., Rasnitsyn, A.P. 1990. Mesozoic Vespidae. Psyche (Cambridge) 97: 120
Darling, D.C., Sharkey, M. 1990. Hymenoptera. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 195: 12353
Dlussky, G. 1983. A new family of Upper Cretaceous Hymenopteraan intermediate link between the ants and the scolioids. Palaeontological Journal 3: 6578
Dlussky, G. 1999. New ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Canadian amber. Palaeontological Journal 33: 40912
Grimaldi, D., Agosti, D., Carpenter, J.M. 1997. New and rediscovered primitive ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Cretaceous amber from New Jersey, and their phylogenetic relationships. American Museum Novitates 3208
Hlldobler, B., Wilson, E.O. 1990. The Ants. Cambridge: Harvard University Press
Poinar, G.Q. Jr. 1992. Life in Amber. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press
Poinar, G.Q. Jr., Archibald, B., Brown, A. 1999. New amber deposit provides evidence of early Paleogene extinctions, paleoclimates, and past distributions. The Canadian Entomologist 131: 1717
Wilson, E.O. 1972. The Insect Societies. Cambridge: Harvard University Press
Wilson, E.O. 1985. Ants from the Cretaceous and Eocene amber of North America. Psyche 92: 20516
Wilson, E.O., Carpenter, F.M., Brown, W.L. Jr., 1967. The first Mesozoic ants, with the description of a new subfamily. Psyche 74: 119

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THE OLDEST ANTS ARE CRETACEOUS, NOT EOCENE: COMMENT

  • David Grimaldi (a1) and Donat Agosti (a1)

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