Fleas dinosaurs were real beasts

04 Mar

Fleas dinosaurs were real beasts

In the Jurassic, even fleas were giants compared to their small modern descendants. Scientists from the Nanjing Institute for Geology and Paleontology have found fleas in the second period of the Mesozoic Era could reach a length of 2.5 inches.

November fossils found in China indicate that the oldest flea dates back 125-165 million years.Scientists say that a flea Jurassic was equivalent to 8 or even more, modern flea.

During the observations it was found that females were twice larger than males, feature preserved until today and encountered the fleas present.

But researchers said the fossil record is impressive not only size but also their oral device, shaped like a beak, able to extract blood from the skin of dinosaurs, even from those who had feathers.

Michael Engel, of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Kansas, USA, said the flea mouthparts Jurassic „was like a saw, a weapon that was gifted to escape danger.”

The major difference between the Jurassic and the contemporary fleas are seen in the musculoskeletal system. Fleas old were high, but their limbs were not developed. Only evolution over time enabled these insects to jump.

Fossils have been found in northern China Daohugou region, where volcanic ash allowed to remain in good condition so that at some specimens is observed antennas and other such details.

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Scris de pe Martie 4, 2012 în Nature, News, Zoology


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