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Blood sucking bugs (all together now…) earlier than thought, 130 mya

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From New Scientist:

Blood-sucking bugs may have been around for a lot longer than we thought. Newly discovered fossils show that bugs have been feeding on blood since the height of the dinosaur era. One of the fossilised bugs found seems to have died just after feasting on blood.

The reason that the researchers assume they drank blood is that the fossils contain a high proportion of iron.

Previously, the oldest-known blood-feeding bug was from 100 million years ago. The new fossils push the record back 30 million years.

Blood feeding has evolved independently at least twice amongst true bugs.

In addition, we are told, insects not classified as bugs but as midges seem to have sucked blood as nourishment 230 million years ago.

See also: “Much earlier than thought (TM)”: Reef building

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5 Replies to “Blood sucking bugs (all together now…) earlier than thought, 130 mya

  1. 1
    Acartia_bogart says:

    I don’t understand why anyone would think that this news somehow casts doubt on evolution. Could someone please enlighten me.

  2. 2
    willh says:

    … It does highlight a condition of knowledge in flux. Evolution literature often comes over as dogmatic; a possibly dangerous and inaccurate stance in the face of changing evidences.

  3. 3
    wd400 says:

    AB,

    The glee with which News reports “earlier than thought” stories is particularly strange. If you date something from fossils, and you keep finding new fossils, the date can only get older. What reminders of this process are meant to tell us about evolutionary biology I can’t imagine.

  4. 4
    News says:

    wd400 at 3, what is happening is that the amount of time for random change to produce complex specified information is gradually decreasing. That doesn’t affect evolution as such, but is bad news for the explicitly Darwinian evolution that has long reigned in the academy. But I expect you know that by now.

  5. 5
    wd400 says:

    The “complex specified information” required for ‘bugs'(the group of insects noted for their sucking mouthparts) to start sucking blood ‘shrunk’ from 200 million to 170 million years, and we are supposed to conclude this is a problem for Darwinism?

    You’ll forgive me, I hope, for thinking that sounds a little desperate.

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