Insects and Geology

18 Jun 2020

Is this biology or is it geology. Bit of both. At .... the discovery of a tiny insect fossil is said to uncover a history of global movements of animals and the shifting continents across deep time. The 50 million year old fossil was found near Kamloops in Canada but in the modern world its descendants live in Australia. The problem with the press release here is that 50 million years ago is not  deep time and is post-K/T boundary and therefore post Pangea. Deep time I would have thought was pre-Pangea geology but that might be splitting hairs. Even if it is just 50 million years ago it does demonstrate that habitats have changed over time as continents have moved, or Plate Tectonics have interacted with continental masses. Fossil  lacewings of this type are said to be rare in the fossil record. Again, no surprise as lacewings are extremely fragile. Other finds in Canada's fossil record resemble creatures fossilised along the Russian Pacific coast - and finds in Europe too. However, other insects are common to Canada and Australia, such as the bulldog ant, some termites, and some wasp species. Presumably it is all explainable by Plate Tectonics - or does it have a problem? Is the process  too slow, as in uniformitarian, or are other  factors at play, involving catastrophism of some kind.