Orchid fossil dates blooms at 80 million years
Orchids made front-page news today with the discovery by Harvard University Biologists of a 80-million year old sample of orchid pollen (Meliorchis caribea) on a fossilized bee.
"Their analysis, published this week (Aug. 29) in the journal Nature, indicates orchids arose some 76 to 84 million years ago, much longer ago than many scientists had estimated. The extinct bee they studied, preserved in amber with a mass of orchid pollen on its back, represents some of the only direct evidence of pollination in the fossil record."
(Harvard University Gazette Online)