Meet Dracula, the dinosaurs’ tick

The tick has been around longer than there are humans on this earth. Research done by Nature Communications shows that the dinosaurs were already plagued by these small insects 99 million years ago.

Ticks in amber

Researchers of the Oxford University and Spanish experts found the remains of ticks in amber, a fossilized form of resin.

The researchers found four ticks in total. One tick was hooked on a dinosaur’s feather. Presumably, this feather was from a feathered dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period (145 until 66 million years ago).

With some of the other ticks, the remains of beetles that lived in the nests of dinosaurs were found. This suggests that the ticks lived in the nest as well.

A tick engorged with blood was also found. If all of the ticks really fed on dinosaurs’ blood remains a mystery for now, because the blood in these ticks could not be analyzed.

New species of ticks

One of the ticks that was found is part of a new species, which is extinct by now. Because the tick was engorged with blood, it got the appropriate name Deinocroton draculin (Dracula’s terrible tick). Engorged with blood, this tick is 8 times larger than the ticks we find nowadays.

If the prehistoric tick also carried Lyme disease is unknown. At Innatoss, you can get a Lyme disease test. We execute not one, but five tests at once. In this way, a Borrelia infection is found more often than with the current standard diagnostics.