Sun, 19 June 2022
The gang discusses two papers that look at the co-evolution of plants and herbivores. The first paper finds the earliest evidence of a unique type of insect herbivory in the fossil record, and the second looks at the evolutionary impact of the extinction of large herbivores on palm trees. Meanwhile, Curt recovers from COVID round 2, Amanda is a static character, and James finds that getting what he wants is almost worse than not getting it at all.
Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):
Our friends talk about things that live in the ground and make their own food but are not able to move (like a tree and other things) and also the animals that eat these things. Some small animals eat the parts of trees that catch the sun but have this stuff that is supposed to get these small animals stuck if they try and eat these parts of the tree. The way that these small animals do this is either by cutting off the stuff that would get them stuck and then eating the rest of these parts that grab sun. We know that trees and other things like trees started to use this stuff a long time ago. This paper finds the first time that we know of in which these small animals were able to cut off the stuff that would get them stuck. They used the same ideas in the past that they use today, and it happened pretty close to when trees and other things like them started to use this stuff. This means that the trees and the small animals that eat them were changing with each other.
The second paper looks at how a type of tree that is not a real tree changed when the large animals that could have eaten it were not there. The people who wrote this paper had ideas about what changes could have happened when these not trees didn't have large animals around to eat them, but it turns out to have been a little different from what they might have thought. These not trees stopped making parts that would stop animals from eating them, but they didn't stop making big food. This might mean that big food is not just something that big animals can use, and that maybe small animals were eating the food and that would help the not tree to move its babies around.
Onstein, Renske E., W. Daniel Kissling, and H. Peter Linder. "The megaherbivore gap after the non-avian dinosaur extinctions modified trait evolution and diversification of tropical palms." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 289.1972 (2022): 20212633.
McCoy, Victoria E., et al. "Oldest fossil evidence of latex sabotaging behavior by herbivorous insects." Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 300 (2022): 104631.