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back to article Dinosaurs were DRAINED of blood by GIGANTIC HORROR FLEAS

As if impending extinction wasn't enough, dinosaurs were also plagued by giant mega-fleas that impaled their soft underbellies and feasted on their blood. Illustration of prehistoric flea Nom, nom, nom, nom... The super-fleas, which were around ten times the size of the fleas that bother dogs nowadays had an extra-painful …

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Sir

Why am I itching?

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I for one welcome our prehistoric blood-sucking overlords, etc...

There's a really unpleasant bit in Will Ferrell vehicle Land of the Lost where he gets drained by a massive blood sucking insect. Am I the only person who finds Ferrell not as funny as everyone says he is?

Anna Friel in shorts though, cor.

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Re: I for one welcome our prehistoric blood-sucking overlords, etc...

Actually, just thinking about it, ten times bigger? Modern fleas are only a few millimetres long, so they'd not be that massive would they? Maybe 15 - 30mm long?

/squirts Frontline on back of neck, just to be sure.

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Re: I for one welcome our prehistoric blood-sucking overlords, etc...

Will is quite marmite, but imo a comedy genius

Anna Friel - do not want

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Mushroom

Nuke them from orbit...

That would still be a blood-sucking-malaria-infesting-aids-transmitting-one-inch-plus-long creepy crawly.... Imagine your dog covered in asian hornet sized insects, but hungrier...

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Re: I for one welcome our prehistoric blood-sucking overlords, etc...

15 to 30mm is... 1.5 to 3cm, or approximately 1 inch. A flea one inch long? No thanks!

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Re: I for one welcome our prehistoric blood-sucking overlords, etc...

not that big not but imagine 2000 of the jumpy jumpy little blood suckers comming after you cause Fido been sucked dry..

I would be packing the can of raid with the attached zippo

failing that as our fellow reg reader said

Nuke em

Its the only way to be sure

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"Am I the only person who finds Ferrell not as funny as everyone says he is?" - No, you're not.

But back to the article; is it just me or does that thing look like a 6-legged sparrow with antennae?

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It looks like a ferret

in insect fancy dress.

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Happy

Re: It looks like a ferret

@Smallbrainfield

Who, Will Ferrell?!

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Is that an artists impression or a photo? I can't tell

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This post has been deleted by its author

Wow

These things sucked blood like a Street View car sucks Wifi.

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Re: Wow

LOL Google Burn hehehe

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I can just hear a couple of surviving dinosaurs having a conversation

<Yorkshire accent>

"When I was a lad, we proper fleas, not these miniature little things that cannot bit through a piece of paper if they wanted to!"

"Right you are! I remember fleas that could bite right through a Triceratops's scales, he could"

"That's nothing, I saw some fleas that could drill straight through an Ankylosaur's club, no less"

"Rubbish, we had fleas which could drill for oil, they could, bite so strong it would go a mile through solid rock, it could!"

"And the problem with kids these days is that when you tell them they don't believe a word you say!"

</Yorkshire accent>

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Coat

"I can just hear a couple of surviving dinosaurs...."

Thanks for the tip. You can pick up your Nobel Prize on the way out.

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Brave man

Equating Yorkshire accents and dinosaurs !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Brave man

Eee but they ad it good in them days did yorkshire. Dinosaurs was real predators, not like them pansy souther soft lions and tigers. And what are they doin here anyway, bluddy immigrant predators takin predatin from real hard workin sorts what want it but can't get it. Soft as muck they are, and they always tek what's rightfully ours right under oru noses, bold as brass an hard as nails! Just cos tha's got a dicky leg an thirty million years on the clock doesn't mean thee 'as to sit back while some brazen nicks tha prey!

Eeeeeee...

Oh wait, that's east lancs. Never moind.

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That looks like a picture of a lawyer.

Or a politician. I can't quite tell from this angle.

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Re: That looks like a picture of a lawyer.

Nope. Its an MP

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Re: That looks like a picture of a lawyer.

no it's a flea. it's an illustration of the article about dinosaur fleas.

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Re: That looks like a picture of a lawyer.

Tom Watson?

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Re: That looks like a picture of a lawyer..or a politician

"Nope. Its an MP"

Who are usually ex-lawyers and...um....(how do I put this without coming across all sarky?) politicians.

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Joke

They still exist today

They are called 'wives.'

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Re: They still exist today

your wife bites you and can jump long distances?

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Coat

Re: They still exist today

It's shocking what goes on in the bedrooms of this once great nation...

*flicks open his copy of the daily mail and tuts at the house prices*

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Ah! that explains why all the office started scratching earlier...

NT.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh the irony...

...that the journal that publishes papers on extinct, prehistoric fleas is named "Current Biology"

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grain of salt

I've always been told that insects can not be 'very large' because of the fact thaty they don't have longues but a completely different 'breathing system' that requires them to remain small.

So they can't have been 'football' size, but they can be 'ping-pong' ball sized.

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Anonymous Coward

* LUNGS

Lounges?

Lozenges?

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Re: grain of salt

There used to be more oxygen around.

It took some time for the parasites (that's us, the non-photosynthetic organisms) to suck the excess oxygen from the atmosphere. Looks like there was a window of opportunity for extra-large parasites.

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Happy

Re: * LUNGS "Lounges? Lozenges?"

(chaise)longues? Fleas that infest furniture?

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Re: grain of salt

And your point, Kleykenb? There are plenty of modern insects larger than this, there's a 3cm hornet that regularly visits my lounge, for instance. I wouldn't like to get attacked by either... I'll leave the hornet be until the gecko gets it, and the flea, well, 65 million years in the bedrock should do it.

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Anonymous Coward

I doubt it would have been that painful. Any pain would result in the parasite being brushed off, whereas it would have preferred to remain undetected.

You just need a big proboscis to get through thick hide.

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IT Angle

Possible explanation for ...

why dinosaurs developed feather(-duster)s.

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re: You just need a big proboscis to get through thick hide.

Indeed.

Something we should all remember.

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Mushroom

I'm glad...

... that the caption under the photo wasn't "actual size" <shudder>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm glad...

I'm glad I wasn't reading this on my projector.

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Headmaster

Big flea

The paper says 22.8mm for Pseudopulex magnus. VS ~2mm for a modern flea

That's close to an inch in old money

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You can find these still

on any part of the west coast of Scotland on a summer evening.

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Been done

I vaguely remember a brilliant SF short story from the 1960s (I think) called something like "Poor Little Hunter". A brilliant scientist invents a time machine and (as one would) jumps back to the Cretaceous to shoot a brontosaur (as they called them in the 1960s). He drops a big specimen - about 60 tons - with his first shot, and is just going for a closer look when he sees some creatures racing towards him from the dead dino's direction. Moments later he is hit by half a dozen dog-sized parasites, which chew him up in seconds leaving little but a few bones.

Moral: (1) respect the ecosystem - especially if it's in your own distant past - and (2) it's not always the big animal that is the real threat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Been done

Close -- I recall the story but not the author. Tourist time-travel was common and Claude, whose wife was named Maude, decided to bag a big dinosaur. (He was not the inventor of time travel.) After shooting the creature and watching its head slowly sink into the muck, he is disappointed in the anti-climax and turns to leave but is knocked down by something landing on his back (followed by a few others).

Nevertheless, good morals.

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Anonymous Coward

wrong career path

ref. "...a flea shot, if not a flu shot".

should have become a tabloid "reporter". Or a press "officer"

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Anonymous Coward

pedantic but hey it's the register

why does the picture show hair? Dinosaurs were hairless.

Now where did I put my coat...

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Re: pedantic but hey it's the register

Looks more like some sort of protofeathers to me.

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Not wishing to pour scorn on this but if I got speared by a flea it'd be like being bitten by ... err ... a flea. Now, if I was the size of a tyranno-whatsit and I was bitten by something much bigger than a flea it'd surely be, relatively speaking, like being bitten by a large flea?

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Stop

These super-sucker fleas remind me of Goldman Sachs.

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Tim

About time

Let's look for some of these preserved in amber.

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so that's where my ex-wife evolved from.

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Childcatcher

Fleas or bankers?

These could be the ancestors to mankind's greatest blood suckers, investment bankers.

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