Fossilized Tick Carrying Pathogens in Mammalian Blood Cells Discovered in 15-Million-Year-Old Amber

fossilized tick

Ticks have been pathogen-carrying parasites for a very, very long time. A new discovery in a specimen of fossilized amber, roughly 15 million to 20 million years old, reveals a tick encased adjacent to mammalian blood cells infected with microbes resembling those in the order Piroplasmida. Today, related pathogens are known to cause Babesiosis and […]

Beetle Fossil Nearly Doubles the Age of Known Parasites of Social Insects

Mesosymbion compactus

When ancient insects first evolved eusocial behavior and began forming colonies, it didn’t take long, paleontologically speaking, for parasites of those resource-rich colonies to evolve, as well. A newly discovered ancient species of beetle found preserved in amber dates this apparent parasitic behavior to at least 98.8 million years ago. In a paper published in […]

New Soldier Beetle Species Found in 99-million-year-old Amber

A new soldier beetle belonging to the family Cantharidae, the subfamily Malthininae and the tribe Malthodini has been discovered from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber, which is about 99 million years old. A description of the extinct soldier beetle was recently published in the journal Cretaceous Research. Burmese amber, the important fossiliferous resin collected from Kachin […]

Hundred-Million-Year-Old Beetle Provides Clues to the Past

About 100 million years ago in present-day Myanmar, a tiny beetle flew into a coniferous tree and became engulfed in its resin. Over time, the resin fossilized into amber — with the beetle fully encased — resulting in one of the most spectacularly preserved ancient beetle specimens yet described. “For a beetle taxonomist and for […]

New Flea Genus and Species Found in 20-million-year-old Amber

By Harvey Black Dr. George Poinar, Jr., an entomologist from Oregon State University, has found a fossilized flea the like of which he has never seen. Its basic characteristics are so strange, he says, that it deserves its own genus. And in fact, the name of the genus he has applied to the insect, Atopopsyllus, […]