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Palaeontology

Prehistoric blood-filled mosquito discovered

By T.K. Randall
October 15, 2013 · Comment icon 20 comments

The mosquito's blood-gorged body survived intact for 46 million years. Image Credit: CDC/Jim Gathany
A fossilized mosquito filled with blood has been found that dates back over 46 million years.
The discovery is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and represents an intriguing step towards the ideas outlined in the movie Jurassic Park in which DNA from blood retrieved from a prehistoric insect trapped in amber is used to create modern day dinosaurs.

A team at the US National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC reported the discovery of the mosquito which, unlike in the movie, wasn't found in amber but in shale sediments. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that any of the DNA will have survived due to the extreme age of the specimen, however some molecules could still be recovered.
"This shows that details of a blood-sucking mosquito can be nicely preserved in a medium other than amber," said researcher George Poinar. "It also shows that some porphyrin compounds in vertebrate blood can survive under the right conditions for millions of years."

The find is particularly rare because the blood-gorged abdomen of a mosquito is very fragile and the chances of one being preserved so well for so long are extremely slim.

Source: Nature.com | Comments (20)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin 11 years ago
I'm no palaeontologist, but isn't 46 million years a bit recent for us to start planning cages for T-Rex's etc? At that age, the blood's more likely to have come from a hippo or a camel. That is true. Classical dino's were long extinct before the mosquito even came around, and the blood likely came from a thin skin bird(dino descendants), or some dead carcass of some other animal as you described.
Comment icon #12 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 11 years ago
My dreams dashed again. Hav always hoped they could resurrect the dinos
Comment icon #13 Posted by green_dude777 11 years ago
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/whats-half-life-dna Unfortunately, the current thinking is that we won't be able to produce dinosaurs by fossilized DNA.
Comment icon #14 Posted by PersonFromPorlock 11 years ago
I'm no palaeontologist, but isn't 46 million years a bit recent for us to start planning cages for T-Rex's etc? At that age, the blood's more likely to have come from a hippo or a camel. Heck no! Ancient alien! Or possibly a Dimaitherium.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns 11 years ago
Comment icon #16 Posted by bulveye 11 years ago
who is that?
Comment icon #17 Posted by The New Richard Nixon 11 years ago
who is that? Ron Paul, think everyone on this forum knows who is
Comment icon #18 Posted by coolguy 11 years ago
Very cool great find Dino DNA has a life span for 500 years or something like that but what if they could make Dino dna
Comment icon #19 Posted by Apollon 11 years ago
What are the chances that now we have the blood of the Annunnaki in that bugs little belly?
Comment icon #20 Posted by TheConspiracy 11 years ago
God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs. Dinosaurs eat man...


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