Loading...

Image of the Day: 99-Million-Year-Old Blood Sucker

Scientists have found the oldest known specimen of a blood-sucking insect together with the remains of its host. 

By The Scientist Staff | December 13, 2017

A so-called hard tick grasping a dinosaur feather, sealed in a 99-million-year-old piece of amber ENRIQUE PEÑALVER ET AL.Locked inside a piece of 99-million-year-old Burmese Amber, a prehistoric tick was discovered clasping a dinosaur feather. Specimens of blood-feeding creatures found together with their hosts are rare, and this is the oldest one known to date. 

While this might be reminiscent of Jurassic Park, the discovery won't yield any dinosaur-coding DNA. Previous attempts to extract genetic material from amber fossils have been unsuccessful due to the short life of DNA. 

E. Peñalver et al., "Parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages," Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01550-z, 2017. 

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Estonia Offers Free Genetic Testing to Residents
  2. Human Brain Organoids Thrive in Mouse Brains
  3. New Ovarian Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise
  4. The Second March for Science a Smaller Affair