‘Cretaceous lice’ found chewing dinosaur feathers in ancient amber

According tomedia reports, today’s parents are very concerned about children’s health and hygiene, to avoid the appearance of lice on their bodies, after all, lice is a pest, parasitic in the human body will appear itching, the latest archaeological research shows that dinosaurs living in ancient times have also been harassed by lice, Scientists have found in an amber that ancient new species of lice are chewing dinosaur feathers, providing the earliest evidence that some insects feed on dinosaur feathers.

'Cretaceous lice' found chewing dinosaur feathers in ancient amber

Recently, researchers confirmed that the species, named Mesophthirus Engeli, was named Mesophthirus engeli, an ancient evolution of lice-like ancient insects, in amber found in Kachin province in northern Myanmar.

Although dinosaurs are traditionally thought of as scaly reptiles, more and more archaeological studies in recent years have confirmed that many dinosaur species have feathers in life, and gaps in the fossil record make it impossible for scientists to know whether the “feathered dinosaurs” solve the harassment of lice like modern birds.

'Cretaceous lice' found chewing dinosaur feathers in ancient amber

Mesophirus engeli, like modern lice, has no wings and is very similar in shape, and researchers say they are highly chewing, with one feather showing clear signs of chewing, similar to the way lice gnaw at modern bird feathers.

Recently, researchers confirmed that the species, named Mesophthirus Engeli, was named Mesophthirus engeli, an ancient evolution of lice-like ancient insects, in amber found in Kachin province in northern Myanmar.

Mesophirus engeli, like modern lice, has no wings and is very similar in shape, and they have a strong chewing ability, and one of the feathers shows clear signs of chewing, similar to the way lice gnaw at modern bird feathers.

The earliest known feather-eating insect satfortered before this study was Megamenopon rasnitsyni, which lived 44 million years ago. Previous archaeological evidence suggests that ancient parasitic insects feed on the blood of dinosaurs during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods between $66million and 201 million years ago.

Researchers have now confirmed that the evolution of feather-eating parasites is similar to that of birds, feathered dinosaurs, which evolved and presented in the mid-Cretaceous period, and that this new ancient insect family has several different characteristics with modern lice species, making it difficult to classify them as existing insect species, including improved tentacles, There is only one paw in the leg.

Unlike modern lice, the newly discovered ancient parasites have lower selection and specificity in prey and feathers, and researchers say the two feathers in amber come from different dinosaur species, and when feathered dinosaurs become extinct, lice need to survive, and these early chewing parasites may choose bird feathers for food.

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