Fossil habrotrochid rotifers in Dominican amber


Flask-shaped microfossils are reported from bracts of a moss in Eocene-Oligocene amber from the northern Dominican Republic. These microfossils are identical with the thecae of certain living moss-dwelling rotifers in the genusHabrotrocha (Bdelloidea), which have previously been reported as fossils only from Holocene peat. What may be an egg and a rotifer body fossil are associated with these thecae and further support the identification of these fossils withHabrotrocha; the fossils are almost identical to extantH. angusticollis. The parthenogenetic bdelloid rotifers have a longer evolutionary history than was previously thought; habrotrochid rotifers seem to have persisted for 35 million years with very little change in morphology or ecological role.

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Waggoner, B.M., Poinar, G.O. Fossil habrotrochid rotifers in Dominican amber. Experientia 49, 354–357 (1993).

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Key words

  • Habrotrochidae
  • Bdelloidea
  • fossil rotifers
  • Dominican Republic
  • Eocene-Oligocene