The 46-million-year-old meal: Scientists discover mosquito fossil
Blood sucked by a mosquito that died 46 million years ago has been discovered by scientists.
Researchers used a new technique to determine the nature of the animal's last meal to prove that the insects have been feeding on blood all this time and could even have feasted on dinosaurs.
The mosquito that was discovered perished soon after feeding in the Middle Eocene and its body has been trapped in shale ever since.
Researchers used a new technique to determine the nature of the mosquito's last meal to prove that the insects have been feeding on blood all this time and could even have feasted on dinosaurs. The creature's fossilised body (pictured) has been trapped in shale for 46 millions years
The animal died when the spectacular mountain ranges in Montana, where it was dug up, had just finished forming.
The ancient insect was so well-preserved because it had been trapped in shale - a type of mudstone in which organic remains decompose much more slowly - and the soft mud material that surrounded it compressed the creature's body without distorting it.
The fine grain size of shale also preserves more details and the process of fossilisation is much like holding the fossil flat and pressing it like a book protects a dried flower.
Read more at http://todaynewcom.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-46-million-year-old-meal-scientists.