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Forging a future for fossil insects: thoughts on the First International Congress of Paleoentomology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2016

Conrad C. Labandeira
Affiliation:
Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560 and Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742. E-mail: labandec@nmnh.si.edu
Dena M. Smith
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721. E-mail: dena@u.arizona.edu
Corresponding

Extract

Insects are the most diverse macroorganismic group to ever inhabit the planet, constituting a major share of the animal biomass in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Since their first appearance in the fossil record some 400 million years ago, they have expanded ecologically into almost every niche except the ocean below the photic zone. When fossilized, their chitinous exoskeletons typically are well preserved, as evidenced by a respectable fossil record. They are found notably in lacustrine shales and amber but also occur in siderite nodules, lithographic limestone, sinter deposits, asphalt, and various glacial deposits. Insect fossils are major subjects in phylogenetic studies but are used to a lesser extent in understanding past ecological associations and reconstruction of ancient environments.

Type
Matters of the Record
Copyright
Copyright © The Paleontological Society 

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