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Jurassic Pain: Giant 'Flea-like' Insects Plagued Dinosaurs 165 Million Years Ago

Published: May 1, 2012.
By Oregon State University

These flea-like animals, similar but not identical to modern fleas, were probably 10 times the size of a flea you might find crawling on the family dog – with an extra-painful bite to match.

"These were insects much larger than modern fleas and from the size of their proboscis we can tell they would have been mean," said George Poinar, Jr. "

Poinar, who is an international expert in ancient and extinct insect life forms, said it's possible that the soft-bodied, flea-like insects found in these fossils from Inner Mongolia are the evolutionary ancestors of modern fleas, but most likely they belong to a separate and now extinct lineage.

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