Dino impact also destroyed bees, says study
Date published: 28th October 2013
The researchers chose to study bees within the subfamily known as Xylocopinae - which included the carpenter bees.
This was because the evolutionary history of this group could be traced back to the Cretaceous Period, when the dinosaurs still walked the Earth.
Previous studies had suggested a widespread extinction among flowering plants during the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event 66 million years ago.
And it had long been assumed that the bees that depended upon these plants would have met the same fate.
Yet, unlike the dinosaurs, "there is a relatively poor fossil record of bees," said the paper's lead author Sandra Rehan, a biologist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, US. This has made the confirmation of such an extinction difficult.
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