Ticks and Dinosaurs
We all love a good movie blockbuster, especially when it comes to big monsters, aliens or dinosaurs, which is why scientists are becoming excited by the discovery of a 99 million year old tick grasping the feather of a dinosaur. Here’s more information on this story in the following article.
Paleontologists have found entombed in amber a 99-million-year -old tick grasping the feature of a dinosaur, providing the first direct evidence that the tiny pests drank dinosaur blood. Immortalized in the golden gemstone, the bloodsucker’s last supper is remarkable because it is rare to find parasites with their hosts in the fossil record.
This provides a huge insight into the pre-historic diet of these disease spreading pests and it’s the first time that ticks have been proven to frequent the dinosaur era. We all know the mosquito in the amber story from Jurassic Park…
Therefore there is evidence that it wasn’t only the mosquito that proved nuisance to dinosaurs, but ticks were bloodsuckers too of these great beasts.
Ticks plagued the dinosaurs, too, as evidenced by a 99-million-year old parasite preserved inside a hunk of ancient amber. Entomologists who examined the Cretaceous period fossil noticed that the tiny arachnid was latched to a dinosaur feather—the first evidence that the bloodsuckers dined on dinos, according to The New York Times. These findings were recently published in the journal Nature Communications. Ticks are one of the most common blood-feeding parasites. But experts didn’t know what they ate in prehistoric times, as parasites and their hosts are rarely found together in the fossil record.
These reports put into perspective just how long these pests have been around and how resilient they are. So although they may be tough little critters, it’s important to make sure that your tick control is as up to date as possible. There may not be dinosaurs invading your back yard, but there is still a chance of a prehistoric invasion when it comes to these tiny little arachnids.