Kamis, 27 Januari 2011

Kumbang Ada Sebelum Dinosaurus



Jutaan tahun lebih lama sebelum dinosaurus ada, kumbang ternyata sudah hidup lebih dulu di muka Bumi. Bahkan, didukung kemampuan beradaptasi yang tinggi terhadap perubahan lingkungannya membuatnya berkembang menjadi ribuan spesies saat ini.
Selama ini, para ilmuwan memprediksi bahwa kumbang muncul sekitar 140 juta tahun lalu atau bersamaan dengan berkembangnya tanaman berbunga. Namun, hasil penelitian ternbaru terhadap DNA kumbang modern dan fosilnya menunjukkan bahwa kelompok hewan tersebut sudah ada 300 juta tahun lalu. Artinya,kumbang sudah muncul sekitar 70 juta tahun sebelum dinosaurus.
"Tidak seperti dinosaurus yang mengalami kepunahan, kumbang justru bertahan karena keragaman ekologi dan adaptasinya, " ujar Alfried Vogler, ahli serangga (entomolog) dari Imperial College London dan Museum Sejarah Nasional London.
Saat ini, kumbang telah berkembang menjadi sekira 350 ribu spesies yang tersebar di pelosok dunia. Bahkan, diperkirakan masih ada jutaan spesies yang masih belum ditemukan dan diidentifikasi. Kumbang mewakili hampir seperempat total spesies di muka Bumi.
Mengapa spesies kumbang bisa begitu banyak sudah lama diperdebatkan para ahli namun tidak pernah disimpulkan alasannya. Vogler yakin kumbang dapat selalu sukses beradaptasi karena sejak pertama kali muncul berada di lingkungan yang setiap saat berubah.
"Jumlah spesiesnya yang besar saat ini bertahan dengan baik sebagai hasil evolusi sejak dini," ujar Vogler. Faktanya, spesies kumbang mengalami diversivikasi begitu banyak sejak pertama muncul hingga sekarang.
Kesimpulan ini diambil Vogler dan timnya setelah mempelajari DNA dari 1.880 spesies kumbang modern. Mereka juga mempelajari fosil kumbang tertua berusia 265 juta tahun untuk menyusun pohon evolusi.(LIVESCIENC E/WAH)



Beetles There Before Dinosaurs
Millions of years longer before the dinosaurs existed, beetles were already living on Earth first. In fact, supported a high adaptability to changing environment makes it developed into thousands of species present.
During this time, scientists predict that the beetles emerged about 140 million years ago or in conjunction with the development of flowering plants. However, studies of DNA ternbaru modern and fossil beetles indicate that there is already a group of animals 300 million years ago. That is, the beetle has emerged about 70 million years before dinosaurs.
"Unlike the dinosaur extinction, beetles survived precisely because of ecological diversity and adaptability," says Alfried Vogler, an insect (entomologist) from Imperial College London and National History Museum in London.
Currently, the beetle has grown to around 350 thousand species are scattered across the world. In fact, it is estimated there are still millions of species that have not been found and identified. Beetles represent almost a quarter of the total species on Earth.
Why can so many species of beetles have long debated by experts but never concluded why. Vogler convinced beetles can always successfully adapt because since the first appeared to be in an environment that changes every time.
"The number of species that survive well at this time as a result of evolution from an early age," said Vogler. In fact, diversification beetle species experienced so much since the first show until now.
This conclusion was drawn Vogler and his team after studying the DNA of the 1880 modern beetle species. They are also studying the oldest-old beetle fossils 265 million years to construct evolutionary trees. (LIVESCIENC E / WAH)

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