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Re: Was Triceratops pestered by ticks?/ Amber listserve
>I have been tempted often to draw bloated ticks attached to the face of a
>tyrannosaur, or to show little pterosaurs pecking between folds of skin on a
>large sauropod to get at the parasites. However, I, being a complete
>ignoramus in invertebrate paleontology, was unsure whether ticks or the like
>even existed back in the Mesozoic. Were parasites such as ticks and mites
>around back then? Were any other sorts of dermal parasites around that might
>have pestered dinosaurs? Heck, where there even any pterosaurs with snouts
>suited to parasite-picking?
Not sure about ticks, skeeters, or other chew-ums, but...
A biting midge (sand fly, no-see-um, punky) is known from the Cretaceous
(of New Jersey). Check out Steve Kurth's web page for a photo of a
Toronian (Cretaceous; 95 mya) midge in central New Jersey amber:
I don't have the peer-reviewed reference available as I write this.
I could probably find it with a bit of urging.
An interesting excerpt from the following website follows:
"The family Ceratopogonidae is by far the largest, and least known, of the
of flies with bloodsucking members. With the exception of a few species of
however, those species of biting midges attacking man and livestock in Canada
belong to the genus Culicoides. Most of the species feed either on mammals or
although a few attack only reptiles or amphibians."
For more information on modern biting midges (including illustrations), see the
following 3 websites:
Lastly, for you amber fanatics out there, there is an amber listserv:
You should know the routine by now, folks:
In the body of text, type the following: subscribe amber
I am not on the amber listserv, so don't blame me if it isn't
very scientifically-oriented! (as far as I know, they could
all be scientific-infidels and jewelry-fanatics!)
As far as dino-bug association art is concerned, I would love to see some
good paintings of ants swarming up the body of a Troodon that
accidentally disturbed an ant nest (social ants were also present in the
Also a close-up painting of a titanosaur's foot covered with
swarming ants would be somewhat original.
If you paint swarming midges on a large dinosaur, you may want to
restrict them to the eyes, nostrils and mouth opening.
I doubt that biting midges could break through the tough scutey/
pebbly skin of most of the larger dinosaurs.
> Always looking for the little grotesque details of Mesozoic life,
Aren't we all....aren't we all....