New evidence connects dung beetle evolution to dinosaurs

Cleveland… Researchers have found an evolutionary connection between dinosaurs and dung beetles. An international team of scientists uncovered the first molecular evidence indicating that dung beetles evolved in association with dinosaurs. The findings place the origin of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in the Lower Cretaceous period, with the first major diversification occurring in the middle of the Cretaceous. This timeline places their origins approximately 30 million years earlier than previously thought. The research explores the potential of a co-extinction with dinosaurs 66 million years ago. The study was published today in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

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(e) Science News – Paleontology & Archaeology

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