Fossilized Mosquito Blood Meal

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by FatemaK
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies

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Fossilized Mosquito Blood  Meal

Molecular biology is the study of DNA to see the evolutionary history of organisms. DNA cannot generally not be detected in fossils this old. The DNA in the blood meal degraded long ago. Hence DNA cannot be used to detect the evolutionary history. However, molecules in the blood suggest that the blood was that of a bird or mammal. Research also showed a higher amount of Iron in the stomach of the mosquito compared to the mosquitoes found today. This is also a sign of microevlotuion.


Microevolution is the change in species over a short period of time. The article states that mosquitoes sucked blood 46 million years ago the way they do today. Since the change in this behavior has not really changed, if the organisms evolved at all, it must have been through microevolution.

A fossil is the remain of a prehistoric organism. In this case, a fossil of a mosquito was found wiht its blood meal. This fossil was not a transitional fossil and was not preserved in amber. Instead, the fossil was found in an old rock in someone's basement. The fossil was used as evidence to prove that mosquitoes lived 46 million years ago. Some scientists say that this was during the time of the dinosaurs while others say that it was much after the dinosaurs.


Phylogenetic tree

"Fossilized Mosquito Blood Meal"

Molecular Biology


Evidence can only prove that these mosquitoes lived 46 million years ago, while some scientists say that these insects came much after the dinosaur era, some scientists say that they were living during the time of the dinosaurs and that perhaps this mosquito fed on one of the dinosaurs. However, the exact location of this species in evolutionary history and on the phylogenetic tree is unknown as not enough research has been conducted yet.

Based on the research so far, we can see that the mosquito found was very similar to the ones we see today. The body structure as well as the feeding habit is similar indicating that it did not drastically change over time. This shows that there was no speciation as no new distinct species was formed.

By: Fatema Khimji 03/11/2013


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