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By V. P. Sharma (editor)

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Extra info for Nature at Work: Ongoing Saga of Evolution in Play

Example text

It is also interesting that in moving from its home in Peru, its pollinator, a species of halictid bee, did not move with them. Modern day cultivars have therefore been selected for self pollination. The frequent problem of blossom drop in domestic cultivars of tomato shows that attempted self pollination is not a great success. This could be due to a natural mechanism for preventing self pollination. In the flower the stigma extends well beyond the anthers, and it grows into that position a couple days before the anthers begin pollen shedding.

Explaining the importance of Ida, Prof. Hurum said that “for the last 50 years we’ve gained a deeper and deeper understanding of species that show transitions between large groups of mammals. 3 It’s a really important specimen that will become an icon of evolution. So I think Darwin would be really happy about this specimen”. The discovery of “Ida” Fossil Ida was unearthed in 1983 by a private fossil hunter from Grube Messel pit near Frankfurt, Germany (Fig. 1). The village Messel is located about 35 km south-east of Frankfurt and the word masilla is the name of a 9th century monastery where the fossil was found.

The frequent problem of blossom drop in domestic cultivars of tomato shows that attempted self pollination is not a great success. This could be due to a natural mechanism for preventing self pollination. In the flower the stigma extends well beyond the anthers, and it grows into that position a couple days before the anthers begin pollen shedding. Wild halictid bees, the best wild pollinators in field situations, are very sensitive to pesticides and cannot be introduced in crop fields. With the native pollinator absent, the other bees that might possibly serve are in short supply.

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