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Friday, October 18, 2013

Blood found in 46 million year-old mosquito...

Culiseta species (USNM 559050) (Diptera: Culicidae), a blood-engorgedfemale from the Middle Eocene Kishenehn Formation of northwestern Montana.Note the distended and opaque dark-colored abdomen (compare to themale USNM 559051 in SI Text). From Hemoglobin-derived porphyrins preserved in a Middle Eocene blood-engorged mosquito by Dale E. Greenwalta,1, Yulia S. Gorevab, Sandra M. Siljestr?mb,c,d, Tim Roseb, and Ralph E. Harbache
Improbable event: The fossilised mosquito was found in a US lakebed.
Mozzies have been annoying humans for centuries, but they've been sucking blood from other creatures for far longer, close to 50 million years, say scientists, who have ancient blood to prove it. Researchers have found components of red blood cells in a 46-million-year-old fossilised mosquito.
While the discovery sounds like the plot of the popular sci-fi novel Jurassic Park – where scientists use DNA extracted from an amber-encased mosquito to revive dinosaurs – the female specimen represents the world's first fossil of a blood-engorged mosquito.
As research has shown DNA cannot survive more than 6.8 million years, no genetic material was recovered. The insect, with its visibly extended abdomen, was found trapped in oil shale, a sedimentary rock from an ancient lakebed in north-western Montana.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/blood-found-in-46millionyearold-mosquito-20131015-2vjed.html#ixzz2i8PEjUHV


http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/blood-found-in-46millionyearold-mosquito-20131015-2vjed.html
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