Research discovers ancient giant wasp

A researcher at the Royal B.C. Museum has discovered a new species of giant wasps that inhabited the earth roughly 53 million years ago.

A researcher at the Royal B.C. Museum has discovered a new species of giant wasps that inhabited the earth roughly 53 million years ago.

Dr. Bruce Archibald, along with researchers from Simon Fraser University, Harvard, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum in London, discovered the species as fossils from ancient forests in B.C. and Washington, including McAbee fossil beds near Cache Creek.

The giant horntail wood-wasps, named ypresiosirex orthosemos, were about seven centimetres in length and resembled its modern relatives. They were forest pests, their young bore tunnels through wood to create gardens in which they grow the fungus that they eat.

According to researchers, the wasps thrived in earlier years, although tropical heat increased the average temperature in the forest, making it difficult for them to survive.

Archibald said the discovery is a valuable tool in understanding our natural world.

“By looking into the fossil record, we hope to better understand how ancient forests and the insects that lived in there were affected by differing climates,” he said. “Learning more from our deep past may help us as we experience climate change in our own times.”

Researchers also discovered another similar species of wasps in the McAbee forest. The findings were published in the journal, Canadian Entomologist.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Victoria traffic stop yields drugs, case full of weapons

Police seize firearms, swords and flares

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read