New study overturns popular theory on evolution of termite size — ScienceDaily

New study overturns popular theory on evolution of termite size — ScienceDaily

Researchers have completed a comprehensive analysis of the head width of over 1500 species of termites and determined that their size isn’t gradually shrinking at a geological timescale. Termites belong to the cockroach branch of the evolutionary tree. They split from their sister cockroach group at the end of the Jurassic period, around 150 to 170 million years ago. A popular theory suggests that, after this split, they very gradually got smaller, and continue to do so today. But this new research, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, concluded that they rapidly got smaller over a 20-million-year period, then their size stabilized. The researchers, who are from the Evolutionary Genomics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), claim that the difference in the …
More on: vervetimes.com