Friday, March 02, 2012

Dino Fleas!

Listener Dan pointed me towards this AP article concerning a parasitic life-form that plagued land dwelling animals 125 to 165 million years ago as they continue to do today. Fleas, a bane today as they were millions of years ago. Though fleas today are a far cry from the monsters that plagued early dinosaurs. The ancient pests were gigantic by today's reference - being almost and inch across - with females twice as large as males!

Paleontologists from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology in China say that the prehistoric fleas had:

  • disproportionately long proboscis, or straw-like mouth, had sharp weapon-like serrated edges that helped them bite and feed from their super-sized hosts
One thing these monsters didn't have was well developed legs, so they didn't have the fantastic jumping ability that modern fleas do today.  Crawling was the order of the day


kallamis said...

That thing is thankfully no longer around. Can you imagine the blood a flea that size could take. It kind of reminds me of the same end result as that mosquito in the new Land of The Lost movie. Regardless, quite an unpleasant sensation I am sure, for something that isn't 40 feet long. We have all kinds of fossils we go tin Houston woods Ohio, even a worm fossil. But never found something like this. Not yet anyway.

Beam Me Up said...

It couldnt even stay on elephants today....if it was aquatic, maybe whales...but this thing just has horror for a middle name...and they didn't jump...crawled, can you imagine?! The horror...the horror