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Re: dino-lice

On 4/13/2011 1:43 AM, Tim Williams wrote:

Apparently the preference that lice have for mammals and birds is not
directly related to body temperature.  According to Grimaldi and Engel
(2005), fleas and lice are limited to hosts with pelage, because
that's how they attach to the host (grasping with their legs).

OK. But the implied point of the question is still valid -- given that hair and feathers have evolved separately, and closely related lice inhabit both mammals and birds, it is hard to construct an overview of the louse world that does not involve some host-switching...

I'd be very interested to know what kinds of lice
woolly mammoths had - they had thick skin, but lots of hair.

Me too. Much well-preserved mammoth material has been examined, but apparently no one has found any, even eggs -- is it possible no one has looked?