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Two questions on the dino-fleas



On reading that nature paper, two questions came to me that were not
answered (at least not in a way I could understand):

1. It is stated that "feathered dinosaurs became well-known from this
period" - but only two references are given, one relating to the
cretaceous, the other being the paper where Epidexipteryx is
described. However, Epidexipteryx seems a bit small to host a
2cm-flea. So what are the supposed hosts during the jurassic? Are
there any known fuzzy dinos from that period? Pterosaurs perhaps? Or
do these fleas hint at the existence of large feathered dinos we don't
know about?

2. It is explained that fleas evolved from animals feeding on plants
(possibly gymnosperms). At least nowadays, these are rather small
animals. If this was true in the Jurassic as well, shouldn't we assume
that the first blood-sucking fleas were also small, which would make
it more likely that they evolved from forms living either on early
mammals or other synapsids or perhaps on pterosaurs? Isn't this more
plausible than to assume that fleas started on big animals?

Cheers,

Martin.



                   Priv.-Doz. Dr. Martin Bäker
                   Institut für Werkstoffe
                   Technische Universität Braunschweig
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                   Germany
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                   e-mail <martin.baeker@tu-bs.de>
                   
http://www.tu-braunschweig.de/ifw/institut/mitarbeiter/roesler1
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