Giant fleas sucked dinosaur blood
Scientists found these fossilized fleas from the Middle Jurassic. The one on the left is female, the other male.
February 29th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

Giant fleas sucked dinosaur blood

When feathered dinosaurs roamed the Earth, so did giant fleas that sucked their blood.

Scientists have found the fossils of these fleas in China, and published a study of them in the journal Nature. They are about 165 million years old, making them the oldest fleas ever found.

These fleas grasped onto and crept along dinosaur feathers, said André Nel of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, who co-authored the study. They didn't have wings, but their legs were specialized to grasp feathers. At about 0.8 inches long, they were five to 10 times bigger than fleas you typically encounter today, Nel says.

The main significance of this discovery, according to scientists, is that the fleas are not directly related to the order Diptera, true flies, which developed first, Nel said.

They are also not exactly ancestors of modern fleas, although they belong to the same lineage, Nel said.

They probably evolved alongside feathered dinosaurs, Nel said. Scientists believe other fleas evolved later to feed on mammals, and finally birds.

Modern fleas didn't appear until about 60 million years ago, Nel said.

Post by:
Filed under: Dinosaurs • On Earth
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. dinosaur games

    Wonderful website. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!

    April 6, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  2. kattalin

    sooo... kinda scary

    March 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Killerbugs Part 2

      Can't wait to see a Sci-fi film on this now. Woo hoo!

      March 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  3. BOY MEETS GIRL

    whats the point NOTHING TO DUE BUT BLOW HOT AIR! GO OUTSIDE AND EXHALE & INHALE! REALITY CHECK ALL WE CAN DO IS SPECULATE. LETS MOVE ON TO THE PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL THIS INDIVIDUAL HAS A LOT OF CLEANING HOUSE TO DO ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE PROTECTION OF US CITEZENS PAYING FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY DRAING SS WELFAIR MEDICARE AND MEDICADE WE NEED THIS STOPPED NOW SO THE US CAN GIVE BACK THIS MONEY TO ITS OWN PEOPLE

    March 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • kgarris

      what does this tangent have to do with giant fleas? I think you meant to click the politics tab and somehow in your political rage of a stooper ended up here...

      March 8, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  4. mystified

    Imagine that..... We have one in the White House right now sucking away its not sucking dino blood, but its definately sucking on your wallet and future retirement benefits. lol

    March 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  5. janvones

    So I guess you ran out of money before you could tell us the actual size of these creatures? Who, what, where, when, why, how and how much! Epic fail.

    March 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • dduke

      Liberals were sucking even back then

      March 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  6. Melanie

    These comments are amazing. Usually comments are mildly amusing but this is insane lol

    March 1, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  7. Paul

    Um, Jurassic Park anyone.....

    March 1, 2012 at 6:05 am |
    • cnnlicksit

      Um no. Dont believe the movies. DNA degrades over time.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • Scott

        LOL, he's wrong, jurassic park is pretty much what this is referencing (although we maybe should be a little patient on the reanimation.) Scientists think that there are huge regions up north covered in ice that are acting like huge refrigerators which preserve the specimens over extremely long periods of time. I think we will find dna for a lot of dinosaurs. Oh right, forgot about the frog part in jurassic park, yeah thats not happening lol.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  8. Likealion

    It's a big flea, an old dead big flea.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  9. Not that Big

    Plays a decent bass, but Flea ain't that big as he thinks he is.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • scruffy1

      And to think that one of the candidates for President of the USofA truly belives that fossils such as these were placed in rocks on the third day of creation not quite 6000 years ago.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:14 am |
      • Guest

        Giant blood suckers?
        I think one of the Presidential candidates evolved from this thing directly
        Also the modern lawyer

        March 1, 2012 at 2:23 am |
  10. STEVIE IN FIJI

    Oh, man..stop stop, plz, I just peed my pants reading all these comments. This is better than M.A.D. Magazine. Truly, great fun reading the ebb and flow of wit and nonsense. I was having a bad day until I started reading these. Thanks to one and all, keep it weird out there! Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhahahahahahahaha.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  11. bobcat2u

    They look like the same bloodsucking politicians we have now.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  12. Jim

    Now, how big were these politicians?

    February 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Orso

      In that part of the world they were pretty big, but if you want to find really huge specimens you have to look inside the beltway.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  13. Nofoldems

    Who cares about the fleas, let's get to the blood and see if we can build us some dinos.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Tenney

      Didn't you pay attention to Jurassic Park? If we do the dinosaurs will run wild.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  14. Ankle Bite McBiterson

    Imagine a flea circus with these babies!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  15. Bobo

    So hold on here. Did all Dinos have feathers back then? if so, how did Spielberg miss this?

    February 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      No; only some. Although it isn't unlikely that many more had some other form of covering that hasn't survived fossilization; occasional hints of something like hair or fur have turned up, for example.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • trooperchix

        There has been more and more evidence, fossilized evidence, that seems to suggest that many if not most were feather covered. The idea is rather interesting if you think about it. Tyrannasaurus Rex running toward you roaring about to eat you and on the other hand him doing the same but perhaps being bright red with yellow polka dots would change me from fright to slapping my knee. I'd be dead, but at least I'd have had a last laugh..

        February 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Scott

      Well, interestingly enough, during the time when Spielberg made the Jurassic series (or shortly thereafter) many exciting discoveries were made about dinosaurs. That's how the movies missed it.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Oh what a sad state when science education is left to the silver screen and not classroom.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Herpdee Joe

      Ha. Spielberg originally wanted the Raptors to do a lizard/snake thing with their tongue in the Kitchen sequence, until the paleontologists he had advising him on set yelled at him for it.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Epidi

      Years after this film wrapped, it was discovered due to fossil impressions of velociraptor skin that they were feathered, implying that Grant was indeed right that they evolved into birds.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  16. realitybyts

    imagine they also had ability to jump 100x body length.
    Giant Attack Fleas.
    have to include them in another jurassic park movie sequel.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  17. maya

    Ouch!

    February 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  18. Susan

    That's no flea; that's my ex-husband!

    February 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Denise

      Hahaha Susan :-D Woman, i think its my ex husband!

      February 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
      • Greedy Obvious Politicians

        It appears to me you two were married to the same flea.....

        February 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Nofoldems

      I'm guessing based on the alimony he pays you, you're the bloodsucker :)
      Just kidding...too tempting to pass.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
      • Denise

        LOL! No alimony my dear, just got my happiness back :-)

        February 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  19. Moses

    165 million years ago??? Wow, that's 164,494,000 years before the Bible even.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Self Serving Lies

      God obviously put those "fossils" in the ground as a test of faith. Or maybe it was Satan that did it to confuse you and make you not believe. Or maybe Atreyu never made it through the Swamp of Sorrow alive. Take your pick

      February 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
      • Orso

        Those giant fleas evolved into modern Republicans. Now they suck the blood of the middle class.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • trooperchix

        LMFAO early republicans? Well, that explains their environmental policy...

        February 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
      • Melanie

        holy crap- Atreyu XD That was unexpected lol. Almost busted out laughing in class. Nice one!

        March 1, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  20. SCAQTony

    What astonishes me is that fleas have been so successful; despite being a dangerous parasite, that they were around tens-of-millions-of-years before the first "proto-human" walked the earth.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  21. Paradox

    I'm curious, is there ONE subject that the news can post on that DOESN'T attract the inane diatribes of religious nutbags? You zealots and your religions are the number one cause of human death and suffering... Keep your garbage to yourself for a change.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Alien from Alfa Centuria

      AMEN

      February 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • pfg

      Actually, fleas are probably the cause of far more misery. Worse yet, the mosquito. It make Jesus and Buddha and Mohammed look like small time hit men.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  22. The Dude

    I like burritos.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  23. JL

    "When feathered dinosaurs roamed the earth?"
    What a load. Google images of dinosaur feather fossils and see what you find. You'll get mostly artist depictions of this fairy tale and actual pictures of the fossils of only a few species. The first, Archaeopteryx, is just a bird intentionally mistaken as a therapod dinosaur, and the second, Sinosauropteryx, shows the outline of what were first though to be "proto feathers" along the spine and tail, but were later found to more likely be collagen filaments, like what is present in skin.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Joe

      Ya, go to google images for your science over Nature. Good idea. I bet you believe in god...

      February 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • tripstore

      Wow! I even found images on Google of a dinosaur walking next to a caveman! I didn't even know they had cameras back then. You learn something new every day.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
      • Margaret

        There is a museum where you can see dinosaurs with the cavemen. The Noahs Ark musuem that explains everything you ever want to know about creationism and how all this stuff happened in 6000 years. Take your camera. : ) Oh by the way some of your tax dollars helped pay for this stupidity.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
      • Alien from Alfa Centuria

        It was called a Polaroid back then too. remember the 60 second picture?

        February 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • T

      Is is kind of funny how the scholars of this world list this stuff as fact. Mere speculation and guess work at best.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • Sunil

        Exactly. Just like gravity.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
      • Orso

        I bet that you don't even exist and it is just a figment of my imagination.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Alien from Alfa Centuria

      Blame it on the cave man he removed the feathers like we do to the turkeys on Thanksgiving day.Feathers didn't taste very good back then either.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  24. Bill

    must have been democrats.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • skpfrmdc

      Yeah, Republicans are slugs.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • NiceComeback

        Republicans are slugs!! Slimy and Slow in every way!! Nice...

        February 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • brett

        You guys are both pathetic.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • NiceComeback

        Who's more pathetic Brett? The idiot who assumes we are both guys or the idiot who speaks from experience? Crawl back in your troll hole you trout mouth heathen...

        February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • bjeff

        yeah Nice...you showed him! Showed hm (and us) what a loser you are.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • tripstore

      Why are Republicans even on this page? Isn't it clear that this is an article about science?

      February 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
      • Phearis

        Year, it's a Science article. Shouldn't the Christians be arguing about God? That's usually the way it works, right?

        February 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  25. Reagan80

    Three quarters of an inch? That's nothing. We have Democrats today that grow to over 72 inches.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • skpfrmdc

      Yeah. Republicans don't grow at all being inanimate.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
      • Reagan80

        Maybe that's why they aren't blood suckers.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • Chonburi

        You're right, they're bottom feeders.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • NiceComeback

      72 inches and with Brains! Still trying to find a repuglican with a half a brain and is not a chicken hawk...

      February 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • Reagan80

        Brains? I don't think so. Why do you think they call them "Dims"?

        February 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  26. Keel Hauler

    Longer than 3/4 inch? Now thats a Gawd-damned FLEA!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  27. tom

    Sounds more Like the GOP than a Flee. They want to suck the blood of the middle class.
    GOP says dont share the wealth...that is not the idea. How about Share the Burden for the BUSH Flee. That evolved from the largest Positive Cash to the Larges Cash Debt and who was the winners – Big Business / GOP.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Eh

      You must be a lot of fun at parties.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
      • tom

        Just a small biz guy – and yes – typically I have a lot of Fun...
        Just tired of have blood ("cash") sucked out of me.. you know

        February 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Reagan80

      Another lying Democrat. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, almost everyone in Goldman Sachs (from Jon Corzine on down), Steve Jobs, Ross Perot, Jeffrey Immelt (General Electric), Franklin Raines (Fannie Mae), Ted Turner, Ann Cox Chambers (Cox newspaper chain), the list goes on and on and on. Democrats lie about Republicans being for "big business" when all the big money players are Dims.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • AthensGuy

        yep, all the folks you will never be equal to

        February 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  28. ralf mouth

    did they post this story because its leap day?

    February 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Reagan80

      Outstanding!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Orso

      :D

      February 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  29. jim

    Dinosaures?!?!?!?!?
    Another liberal farce trying to turn us all into tree hugging hippies. Everybody knows the Earth is 6000 years old! The Bible says so! Praise be Jesus our Lord our Savior!

    Santorum/Palin 2012!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • ralf mouth

      If those two idiots make it in I'll even pray to jesus

      February 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
      • Margaret

        Shovel, duct tape and sheets of plastic. Start stockpiling if they get in. Personally I am painting a big bullseye on the roof of my house, I don't want to live thru it.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
      • Big flea lover

        Anyone who doesn't try a nationalized health care, and avoids bailouts for a start has my vote.
        Nationalized health care prioritizes every problem on an equal footing. If you are having a heart attack but the lady with a hangnail gets in line at the ER first, you can die while she gets her finger looked at.
        Bailouts play favorites with companies that should be allowed to fail and succeed on their own merits.
        Not to mention the administration's "Fast and Furious" screwup.
        Obama sucks and it's no secret!

        March 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • BIGMAC

      Another nut case!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Paradox

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahaha oh ...... I peed a little.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • skpfrmdc

      YOU will be VERY surprised IF you meet GOD and so will I.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • SC

      It's not "another liberal farce." In Genesis 1:24–31 you will read that God created dinosaurs as well, "And God created the beast of the world." From one Christian to another, please become a little more educated on the subject matter before you start bashing other people's views, whether they're liberals or not.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • Sunil

        Really?? 6000 years ago???

        Cool.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Yes, and they also cure leprosy with the blood of a bird, and forbid mixing two garments made of different cloth, and claim that god sacked a city so hard that it was never rebuilt again, (although the city still stands today... figure that one out) There are many things written in your fairy tale, doesn't make any of them true.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  30. Wiggles

    I thought this was a picture of Hillary Clinton's muff.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Paradox

      Right? According to Bill, her muff has been fossilized since their marriage.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  31. clearfog

    God made these large fleas to drive Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. God visited other plagues upon mankind as punishment for disobedience to the word of God. Locusts, frogs, first born sons . . . all the work of God in His righteous indignation. Or the book about the talking snake in the magical fruit tree got it wrong. I can't figure out which.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Reagan80

      I hope you can keep that great sense of humor when you're burning in Hell.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
      • SCAQTony

        I think you both have issues.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
      • Troy in Austin

        There is no Hell, nor Santa, nor Easter Bunnies. Grow up.

        February 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        If belief in your version of god is the single most important criteria for entering heaven, your god is a narcicist, and not worthy of the praise you bestow upon him. Think about it, a good person who dies disbelieving in god goes to hell for this lack of belief in the words of men telling him of the existance of god... or say, a serial killer who, after he is convicted, "repents and embraces Jesus as his lord and saviour (and really REALLY means it this time)" ... but he gets to go to your paradise? really? No thanks, that's one a$$ I won't be kissing up to.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • Orso

        Maybe that is the "Global Warming" they keep talking about, we are all going to hell

        February 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
      • Been glo

        filmy- Seriously? Real parents love their children even if they rebel and cause distress to self. The parent will prefer their own child over another, no matter what the reality is concerning their personality and behavior. God feels the same about His children. Don't think of Christians as kissing up. Just wising up. We love God because He loves us and have chosen to be one of His.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @Been glo,
        So then you're saying that the belief in your god is irrelevant then? If your god loves as you say he does, then we all go to paradise... if we all go, how is it a reward?

        March 2, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  32. Dood

    Fleas = Democrats = Parasites

    Can't be denied. The Right produces, the Left takes it away like blood sucking bugs and gives nothing in return. What a drain on progress, yet they call themselves "Progressive". What a farce!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • yawn

      Hey a troll! Quick quick burn it with fire! Awww little troll, you must improve your camo!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • JG

      Yes, because sitting on your kiester and criticizing "the othur guy" gets so much done. Hyperpartisian moron.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • CliftonFlowers

      Man you're going to have a long year and a very difficult and disturbing November. It'll be fun for us though!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • ralf mouth

      don't worries fleas always stay from piles of $h1t like yourself

      February 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Troy in Austin

      You know repubs are the bad guys, Dems help people repubs help rich people. You also know it's not right.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Orso

      Republicans -> Another species that will go extinct soon

      February 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  33. Bubba

    POOR LITTLE WARRIOR by Brian Aldiss predicted this in 1958. Time=traveler shoots a dino and is overwhelmed by the giant, ravenous fleas that leave the dying creature.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • david

      I would not consider .8 inches to be giant, but whatever floats your boat I suppose...

      February 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
      • skpfrmdc

        that's bigger than his johnson, of course it seems huge.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • Reagan80

        It's all relative. It's about 10 times bigger than the average flea. Imagine a Democrat with a 100 I.Q.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  34. Lukeweizer

    JURASSIC PARK.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  35. Archie

    I have inside knowledge that this is actually a magnified picture of Barck Obama's scalp.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Kim

      LMAO!!! That is tooooo funny!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • MountainBoy

      Classic!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Reagan80

      Oh yeah? Then where are the three sixes?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Orso

      The same "Inside Knowledge" source says that all Republicans are giant jurassic dung beetles and they are full of it!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  36. superplus

    Did dinosaurs with fleas sit around and scratch themselves like present-day dogs and cats or did they just roll around in the dirt and mud? Perhaps disease-carrying fleas wiped out the dinosaurs – those little scoundrels.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Bubba

      Ever seen a bird take dust bath to get rid of mites? Probably like that, only huge.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • superplus

      Bubba – I didn't know that – thanks for the info!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  37. killallthewhiteman

    Oh I see the fleas, mommy can't you see the fleas?

    February 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • superplus

      From the movie "Jurassic Park" ! Good comment!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  38. IReadItSomewhere

    I often wonder why insects got smaller and not larger. Would we have survived or even existed?

    February 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • JT

      Oxygen levels were higher back than due to more plants, tree etc. That's why everything was bigger.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
      • longtooth

        Seems everything got smaller, but men got bigger.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • Orso

        The ice age shrunk everything... we men are very familiar with that effect ;)

        February 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Kamikaze

      Because the oxygen in our atmosphere is less dense now. More oxygen = bigger bugs.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  39. Rob

    Evolution=horsecrap

    February 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • JT

      No, you are more likely the horsecrap.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Bubba

      Rob=dogcrap

      February 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Brett

      The Bible=Fairy Tale for indoctrinated lemmings of the Church

      February 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
      • Alex

        I think this is among the most important ifnarmotion for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is great, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

        October 13, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Primewonk

      In that case Rob, you should have absolutely no problem posting citations to peer-reviewed scientific research that shows evolution is wrong.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  40. William

    What's the difference between the these Fleas and Gabby Giffords?

    February 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Reginald

      The Fleas have a higher cognitive thinking ability.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • randoid1234

      Trollin' Trollin' Trollin' Keep those doggies Trollin'...

      February 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
      • Rick

        Funny how it's not considered "trolling" when the post is about the GOP???

        February 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
      • randoid1234

        Can it Rick. It's just as much trolling when it's about the GOP. It's mostly the fact that he used someone who was shot in the head as an example.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • credit card culture

      China? You'd think they'd of foundem on wall street

      February 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Margaret

      Didn't your momma ever teach you if you don't have something nice to say, don't say nothing? What did Gabriel Giffords ever do to you?

      February 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
      • Bubba

        Giffords was a Democrat. Sarah Palin put up a website saying someone should shoot her in the head, and one of her suggestible followers shot her in the head. One of the many reasons Palin will never be anything but a joke and a danger to our country.

        March 1, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  41. Entomologist

    Ridiculous. If anything this might be a louse or aphid.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • longtooth

      No, my nephew is a louse. Those are fleas.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  42. Dave

    God I hate fleas. They can all die.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • satyromaniac

      oh Dave, you poor thing, you.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  43. freelance

    what's the difference between these fleas and GOP?

    February 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • binky42

      The fleas didn't try to deny the existence of the dinosaurs?

      February 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • MrHanson

        Denying the existance of Dinosaurs? You are a moron.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Bubba

      Apparently the fleas aren't trolling this board with desperate political comments.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  44. binky42

    Dinosaurs had blood? What? I thought they were full of oil...at least that's what the education curriculum in my conservative state says. 6,000 years of glorious oil.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Stuckhere

      Ha Ha you must be in Utah

      February 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Faisal

      Binky, your conservative school completely misguided you through out your educational period. How can dinausers be filled with oil instead of blood ? Tomorrow the same schools may teach to innocent young students that they were filled with Coca Cola or Pepsi.

      Well! it's never too late to go back to another school and correct what you have learnt in teh last 18 years.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  45. WhatWhatWhat?

    "Further analysis shows that the present day ancestor to the fossilized fleas are the 1%'s, and that they now suck the life out of people as well as their blood." API

    February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  46. Alan

    They have actually gotten bigger over time and are now known as republicans

    February 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Al

      LOL, LOL, LOL

      February 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • tj

      niiiice

      February 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Scott

      That is hilarious Alan! Thank You

      February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Timmy

      Actually, the Democrats want to raise taxes so wouldn't that make them the blood suckers?

      February 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • oussu

        Go back to the bottom of the well Timmy. Repubs cut taxes for the wealthy. They extract money from everyone else.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  47. Andrew

    Jurassic Park!

    February 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • randoid1234

      Life ummmmm, finds a way.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  48. I believe

    This more oxygen theory is true whenit comes to body size. This is why aliens are small people. Aliens are nothing more then our future ancestors going back in time to visit us. We all know that with polution and the ozone going away the oxygen levels are depleating. Think about it. It knda makes sense.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Matt

      What kind of aluminum foil do you use when you make your hats?

      February 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
      • nope

        and which do you wear when believing a 60 year old man got all the creatures on a boat?

        February 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • Matt

        "and which do you wear when believing a 60 year old man got all the creatures on a boat?" They wear whatever their imaginary friend tells them.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
      • Leroy Jenkins

        Come on everyone knows that these actually made it on the ark, and like several other species were lost to extinction because Noah wasn't an "animal person". However he did manage to knock out a pretty nice boat!

        February 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Margaret

        I personally recommend Reynolds Aluminum. Here in Az we know our aluminum hats and that is the best kind to use.

        February 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Get that extra-heavy stuff they use for cookouts and wrap it all around your head so the satellites can't beam those voices into your skull. Buy a bunch of it and put it flat in your attic to protect you while you sleep. Don't trust the radio.

        March 1, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "that the present day ancestor to the fossilized fleas" "Aliens are nothing more then our future ancestors going back in time to visit us." So we will meet our ancestors in the future and our descendants in the past? That seems really confusing. Are you 100% sure about that?

      March 1, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  49. Matthew Petersen

    WOW!! Awesome!!!
    Makes me glad Oxygen levels are lower. I wouldn't want an infestation of that in my house ;)

    February 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  50. Arch

    Why don't they put it through carbon dating. You'll find carbon in this thing which would mean it is actually less than 40k years old... but they will not do it, will they...

    February 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • anti-fundy Tom

      Oh right, if you fundys are not denigrating carbon-dating, you're saying its use will deny the much better, more reliable other tests. You folks are just desperately clinging to your myths...and it looks pathetic.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      What an idiot. Try learning something first before making yourself look any more stupid, please.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • Arch

        Okay... your self defense mechanism is to attack instead of trying to make a point...

        February 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Matt

      Sorry Arch, carbon dating would not work... this is too old. They would use several other methods of dating.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • Arch

        Why don't they just try it for kicks...they know they will find C-14...

        February 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Dude

      The carbon 14 isotope decays completely after about 60,000 years, which means the method cannot be used to date material older than that. This find is millions of years old.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • Arch

        If they find carbon in it, they are wrong. It's that simple folks...

        February 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
      • JC

        It doesn't decay complete, just below a detectable concentration.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @Arch,

        And when they don't find it, you'll just scream they weren't looking hard enough.... even when we tell you that it decayed to undetectable levels after 60,000 years or so... so you will never be satisfied will you?

        March 2, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Dr. S

      You can't date anything older than about 50,000 years old w/ carbon dating..Plus a number of other factors. At any rate, it's too complicated to explain here but look it up. If you're a C14 doubter though, no amount of factual information will dissuade you from willful ignorance...

      February 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • steve

      duh, of course you'll find carbon in "this thing". Problem is, you won't find the useful (radioactive) carbon, C14, that is compared to the non radioactive carbon which does not decay. since the half life of C14 is only about 5200 years, the ratio (comparison) is only good for things less than (about) 50-60 thousand years.

      take some science courses before spewing your nonsensical beliefs

      February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Yea

      I think you guys missed what he was saying or were too busy trying to prove how smart you all are. He said if it was carbon tested it would show there is enough carbon left for dating, meaning it is less than 40k years old. He already knows that after that it there is not enough carbon for dating.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        No, they werent trying to show how clever they were, instead they were showing the guy what a fool he was, huge difference.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Uh...no, not even close. Carbon remains stable for trillions of years. It's only certain isotopes – notably, C14 – that decay into those more stable forms over time. Carbon doesn't disappear; it just changes its atomic weight.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Yenlooth

      Never mind that Potassium Argon dating would prove your 40,000 years wrong. These things are big. Big and old. Much older than 40,000 years, mate.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Primewonk

      If you go to the "Index to Creationist Claims" webpage at talkorigins – they have numerous lies the creationists post as "evidence" that evolution is wrong. They then go through and show why they are wrong.

      I always wonder why creatioists, who have no training or education in science, think they know better than they 400,000 professional scientists who work in the fields related to evolution.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  51. Arch

    Whatever...

    February 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Mike

    I'm a layperson myself, but as I understand it, oxygen levels were quite a bit higher during a portion of the age of dinosaurs (around 30%, compared to 22% today), which helped support their large sizes.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  53. eatabird

    Kinda undermines the wholeGARDEN OF EDEN thing which Christians will try to make you believe happened a mere 6,000 years ago. SMH

    February 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • JBird

      Your just a plain old idiot

      February 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
      • steve

        this coming from someone who doesn't know the difference between your and you're.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
      • WhatWhatWhat?

        eatabird is exactly right numb skull. If you have a problem with that, it's only because you're a delusional idiot.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
      • Albert

        Yes and Jesus rode one to meet with santa claus and the easter bunny who jesus was kind of mad at for celebrating his death and resurrection with EGGS (EGGS?)

        February 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • Matt

        JBird... I don't think your imaginary friend would like you calling others rude names.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • Paul

        I assume you meant "You're...". And if you want to believe an ancient book that has been re-written and edited by countless popes and kings through the years, instead of overwhelming scientific evidence of the Earth's real age, that's your business, I suppose. I'm sorry, but who's the idiot?

        February 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • RdWtNBlu

        Jbird is the idiot

        February 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • bam

        so the whole fertilizing a human embryo without a mans meat is more correct? or how about the Jesus Zombie rising from the dead to thumb his nose at the Romans?

        February 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Heck no, I am a fancy idiot. Nothing plain about me. And a big whack from the Clown Hammer© for you.

        March 1, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • genius

      It only undermines it, if it's true. It's interesting how quickly you are to accept this, without looking into yourself. You simply took it for fact that what they said is true-you did the same thing with evolution.

      All you atheist bad mouthing Christians, and the hatred comes from Christianity???

      All you atheist accuse Christians about being 'brain washed' but yet, you are no different.

      I try to be nice, but, are you all really that stupid that you don't see the double standard?

      Christians are stupid-they believe anything without seeing it.
      Atheist are great intellectuals who believe science without seeing it themselves but completely trust the science books and professors they listen to.

      Sadly, it is very funny how myopic and naive some of you people are. Eatbird demonstrates this very clearly.

      Want to keep at it? Step up to the plate ... meatcnn at gmail com

      February 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
      • Yenlooth

        Hello, I'm an archaeologist. I've seen my science of evolution firsthand. I've had experience with potassium argon dating techniques and I understand the concept. BECAUSE I've done it myself, I know it's true and know how it works. Humans evolved in a very complex process from less complex creatures. My proof is my profession and my career. I also happen to believe in God. I don't believe the Bible is literal or even that it's a Holy text.

        February 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Genius, were you named by opposites? What you are saying is that science doesn't work, and the computer you are using says it does. I've seen science work over and over; you can't cook food without making chemical changes in it. I use gravity and inertia in my work every day.

        March 1, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  54. michael

    Profiles of prehistoric creatures always prompt me, a relative layperson, to wonder about the tendency for ancestral versions of modern-day animals to always be so damn huge in comparison. What is it about the nature of evolutionary biology/zoology which makes this trend so consistent?

    It seems that no matter the fauna, whether we're talking about sharks, birds, elephants, crustaceans or fleas (apparently), the ancient analogs belonged to a much bigger world...

    What are the theories behind that?

    February 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • dave

      Temperatures were higher and O2 levels in the atmosphere were greater, supporting larger body masses.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Maddog

      It all has to do with the % of Oxygen in the atmosphere. The more there is, the less the body needs to work, thus it can be larger as a result.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
      • FauxNewz

        Strange, because there is less oxygen in the sea and the largest mammal (the whale) is there.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • DeformMechanics

        FauxNewz, you have to be kidding, right? Whales are mammals and breath the same air as you and I. Also, they can be larger in water because it takes less energy for something that is larger to move around in water. This is because of buoyancy.

        So either you were trolling, or... I'll let others fill in the blank.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • GK

        Whales have to come up to the surface to breathe

        February 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • anti-fundy Tom

        Yo Faux, whales don't take their O2 from the sea water...but is it worth explaining to you? Will reality matter for you in the long run?

        February 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • Rev. Schaeffer

        Oxygen levels affect insects because of their respiratory systems, which deliver gaseous oxygen directly to the tissues through tracheal tubes. As they grow larger the process becomes more inefficient, and the tubes must grow impractically large to support ever smaller increases in mass. High concentrations of oxygen allowed them to support larger bodies without requiring larger tracheae.

        Endotherms (i.e., warm-blooded organisms) are limited more by the temperature of their environment. Jurassic oceans were several degrees warmer than those of today. This is likely one of the reasons why many large land mammals such as the wooly mammoth, giant sloth, etc. became extinct after the last ice age. The opposite is true for ectotherms (i.e, cold-blooded organisms), and the warmer prehistoric climate enabled the dinosaurs to grow to such large sizes.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • franko

      Th o answer theb question...its basically an issue of FUNCTIONAL MORPHOLOGY...in other words the tendecy to fly has arisen in may groups that are not closely related...eg birds and bats... but the basic mechanics of flight are always used... wings beating fast etc... so different organisms only distantly realted "solve" the mechanical and dynamical problems in similar ways since the basic physics of the process is the same....

      February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Mike Allen

      Maybe it's because all animals evolved from the oceans where large animals, i.e. whales, still exist.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Reverse The question

      Often, the answer is to look at the question the other way: Why are modern creatures often smaller than their ancient relatives? Or why did large forms become extinct and smaller forms survive?

      Large size is a specialization, and specialists often become extinct when conditions change. More generalized organisms, often including smaller organisms, can adapt better when old ecosystems break down and new environmental niches become available.

      While O2 levels account for some large creatures at certain points in geolgical history, they do not account for all prehistoric gigantism. In fact, when the large dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, O2 levels in the atmosphere were about the same as they are today.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • bam

      so u dont know why a goldfish gets quite large when u over feed it?
      the concept of the more food there is the large u get?
      Mammals were not HUGE back then or around the time they popped up, so I dont know about this Oxygen theory

      February 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
      • longtooth

        Actually, a goldfish won't get larger unless you put it in a bigger tank. If you overfeed it in a small tank, you just make the water dirty.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  55. Bubo's Girl

    Reblogged this on News, Tech, Health and Learning. and commented:
    Fascinating! I had to re-blog this.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • bam

      did u get Bubo's approval first?

      February 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

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