[Taxacom] Mesozoic origins of many insect families (was: ISE...)

Barry Roth barry_roth at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 24 21:39:07 CDT 2011

The "golden" issue is producing quite a shower of opinion, considering that it's about a basically undefined term. 

Does anyone know what historians mean when they speak of a Golden Age" with regard to human affairs -- if indeed they do so?  I sort of thought it meant the age of "flowering" (darn these mixed metaphors anyway) of a culture, not necessarily the time of its origins. So I would be more inclined to think of it as a time of a group's diversifying and maintaining that diversity. 


On Jul 25, 2011, at 1:36 AM, Kenneth Kinman <kennethkinman at webtv.net> wrote:

> Hi Lars, 
>       Well I'm not trying to minimize the importance of
> Cretaceous insect evolution (lots was clearly going on). But on the
> other hand, I want to avoid minimizing the importance (and numbers) of
> modern insect families which originated in the Triassic and Jurassic. I
> find it hard to believe that a "vast majority" of Recent  insect
> families originated in the Cretaceous, and would even be surprised if
> they are a simple majority.  Add the number of extant families arising
> before the Cretaceous to those arising after the Cretaceous, and I bet
> it would exceed the number which arose during the Cretaceous.            
>        Hunt et al., 2007 ("A comprehensive phylogeny of
> beetles..." ; Science, 318: 1913-1916) found a very large number of
> modern lineages of beetles having pre-Cretaceous origins). There are
> also many modern families of Diptera that are known from the Jurassic
> (and many of those which are only known back to the Cretaceous will
> probably eventually be found in the Jurassic as well).    
>        Anyway, I think it would be more accurate to say that the
> Jurassic and Cretaceous together form "The Second Golden Age" of insect
> evolution (the First Golden Age being the Carboniferous and Permian).
> If I had to choose between them, I would tend to go with the first as
> being THE Golden Age.
>        --------Cheers,
>                           Ken
> --------------------------------------------------
> Lars wrote: 
> Dear Ken and John, 
> When I used the phrase "Golden Age of Insect Evolution" for the
> Cretaceous I was certainly not referring to the "ordinal diversity" of
> insects but to their "family diversity". As you correctly noted all of
> the insect orders originated before the Cretaceous. However, the vast
> majority of Recent insect "families" (many others are dealt with in the
> subject issue!) originated (i.e. experienced their Golden Age...) in the
> Cretaceous. 
> Cheers, 
> Lars 
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:
> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
> (2) a Google search specified as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

More information about the Taxacom mailing list