NCAS Professor Jessica Ware Maps Insect Origins and Evolution

Carla Capizzi

When the dinosaurs ruled the earth, they were already bugged by creatures who had gotten there many millions of years earlier: dragonflies and damselflies. In fact, says Rutgers University-Newark biologist Dr. Jessica Ware, the first creatures to take to the skies of earth did so 406 million years ago.

Ware knows of what she speaks: She is part of an international team of 100 researchers that just finished an unprecedented two-year project to map the evolution of insects using a molecular data set of unparalleled quality and dimensions. The initial report on their groundbreaking work is the cover story of the Nov. 7 issue of Science, the world’s largest general science journal, published weekly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

 

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