Insects trapped in Amber show that they feed on feathered dinosaurs. Even in the dinosaur age lice annoyed animals.
Scientists discovered previously unknown tiny insects similar to the modern lice we have today trapped in amber along with a feather from a dinosaur. The findings published in the journal Nature communications, December 10. This provided the earliest evidence that insects feed on dinosaur feathers.
Scientists now believe that many dinosaurs have feathers. But the fossil records prevented the scientists to know whether the dinosaurs dealt with the lice the same way modern-day birds do.
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Moreover, Ten insects found that are lice-like along with two dinosaur feathers. It was trapped in amber in Kachin Province, Northern Myanmar. Dated about 100 million years ago. The newly discovered insects are called Mesophthirus engeli and they show evolutionary development of the lice-like insects. Said by the researchers.
Like lice, they don’t have wings and they have a similar body. The researcher noted that they have strong chewing capabilities because a feather shows evidence of chewing.
There is past evidence of parasitic insects feeding on dinosaurs blood during the Jurassic and Cretaceous period, from 66 to 200 million years ago.
Further, Chungkun Shih, a study author at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History said.
This new insect family had several features different from the extant chewing lice.
Therefore, It is difficult for us to place them in existing orders of insect.