Employees of the Moscow pedagogical University in Beijing reported that amber age of about 100 million years found the feathers of an ancient dinosaur that froze the blood sucking parasites of small dimensions, resembling modern lice.
Scientists found in amber 10 insects of the Cretaceous period at various stages of their development. The maximum size of parasites – 0.23 mm.
The beings gave the name Mesophthirus engeli.
If scientists confirm the relationship of parasites to the existing lice, but rather a detachment Puhaeva, they will be the most ancient representatives of this group. While the record holds for insects which are found in the feathers of the ancestors of the animals that lived 44 million years ago.
Contact with lice indicates modern appearance insects. From living parasites Mesophthirus engeli differ only in the presence of the hooks on the legs and the shape of the antennas.
One of the studied feathers reminded specimens of the feathered tail of an ancient lizard, which was discovered in Myanmar two years ago. Another feather probably belonged to a toothed ancestor of modern birds, which live blood-sucking parasites.