[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Jurassic Termite Nests

Dann Pigdon wrote:

The most numerous species (ie. most of the world's terrestrial biomass)
feed almost exclusively on grasses. I'm just wondering whether termites
were a lot less common before grasses took off. Or would ferns have been
a suitable food source? (they couldn't have been any less nutritious
than spinifex grass)

The Australian termite _Mastotermes darwiniensis_, the most basal of the living termites (Isoptera), feeds mainly on wood. Based on the gut contents of fossil _Mastotermes_ species preserved in amber, the same was true of extinct mastotermitids. Thus, the first termites may have fed primarily on wood, and later exploited grasses as a food source.


Fast. Reliable. Get MSN 9 Dial-up - 3 months for the price of 1! (Limited-time Offer) http://click.atdmt.com/AVE/go/onm00200361ave/direct/01/