Pollinators may have evolved 40 million years before flowers existed

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    Pollinators may have evolved 40 million years before flowers existed
    Archocyrtus kovalevi likely fed on the nectar of gymnosperms

    Archocyrtus kovalevi likely fed on the nectar of gymnosperms

    Dmitry Bogdanov

    By Jake Buehler

    Many flowers make nectar to attract visits from pollinating insects – a classic example of a mutually beneficial relationship refined by millions of years of evolution. But a reanalysis of a Jurassic fly suggests pollinators may have been flying around on Earth long before the first flowers bloomed.

    Alexander Khramov, of the Borissiak Palaeontological Institute in Moscow, Russia, and his colleagues have been studying a specimen of Archocyrtus kovalevi, a late Jurassic fly first described in 1996.

    When the team zoomed in on a long, straight structure …

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