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Re: Dino-Tick (silly report)




I'm afraid that story was very poorly written. The first tip off was calling ticks "insects". And like other major groups of arachnids, there is no reason to assume that ticks didn't also arise in the Paleozoic----my best guess would be Permian (but possibly Carboniferous). Some of the mites (and ticks are mites) arose back in the Devonian.
It is certainly great that a Mesozoic tick has finally been found, but not particularly surprising, and they were no doubt around well before the dinosaurs or birds evolved. And I can't imagine why any arachnologist would attempt to pinpoint the origins of ticks to South America.
I am hoping this is just another case of a reporter getting his facts wrong, and that it wasn't the scientists who actually said these things. With the internet you would think reporters could quickly consult with the scientists before submitting their stories.
Or maybe it wasn't the reporter this time, and they really think birds are the best explanation for how ticks got to North America.
What a bunch of silliness,
Ken
P.S. Seems pretty reasonably to me that some ticks fed on dinosaurs, and perhaps some specialized on certain groups of dinosaurs. Even the most heavily armored dinosaurs would have had areas of skin that were easily accessible to such parasites.
********************************************************
From: M Murphy <4mjmu@home.com>
Reply-To: 4mjmu@home.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Dino-Tick/Mother of all Ticks
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 19:59:47 -0500

A story from CBC's website recording an unusual discovery of a 90
million year old Tick found in a block of amber in New Jersey.  Since
Ticks were supposed to origonate in South America about 50,000,000 years
later, this is significant.

http://cbc.ca/cgi-bin/templates/view.cgi?/news/2001/03/28/tick010328

Could these have sucked dino blood?  Who knows!

Cheers,
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