Scientists Find Rare Mosquito Containing Blood From Eocene Period

Screen-Shot-2013-10-11-at-9.27.52-AM-300x221This is amazing. In Montana, scientists have discovered a mosquito that is still carrying blood from animals in the Eocene — that is some 46 million years ago. Of course, creationists would point out that scientists are again some 46 million years off since the Earth is only a few thousand years old.

The mosquito was found in oil shale and remains engorged with ancient blood. It is believed to be the first of its kind and was announced in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Four prior “blood-eating” fossil records have been uncovered and this is the first mosquito with traces of blood. It is very rare to find a mosquito due to the environment in which they operated despite the portrayal in the movie “Jurassic Park.”

There is no word on the blood that it is carrying. The Eocene represents the period at end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. This includes a major extinction event called the Grande Coupure (the “Great Break” in continuity) or the Eocene–Oligocene extinction event. The animals included mammals such as artiodactyls, perissodactyls and primates, which tended to be small. It later included modern ungulates (hoofed animals) as well as carnivorous ungulates and early forms of bats, proboscidians (elephants), primates, rodents and marsupials.

54 thoughts on “Scientists Find Rare Mosquito Containing Blood From Eocene Period

  1. There is a good deal of data that point to a young creation. This latest datum being one of them.

    Bigots and the intolerant (often the godless) like portray those who believe in the biblical timeframe as anti science. In this case it is possible that not having a skeptical viewpoint is the anti scientific position since none of us were here to confirm the true date. These dating methods, however sophisticated, are not certain. And there remains a body of facts to the contrary.

    This anti science mindset by the left and the god haters also shows up in the abortion issue. It is funny, tragically so, how it’s a crime to destroy an eagle egg, but not to destroy a human one. Science is tossed out the window whenever a leftist has a need to murder or destroy things.

    Science knows the eagle race is intrinsic with the survival of the eagle egg. And it ought to know the human race is intrinsic with the survival of the human egg. Indeed, I’m sure it does know that by now.

    That is why the support for abortion (certainly for most of it) is plain old murder.

    Science supports that conclusion.

  2. I think I will trust the carbon dating system set up by science rather than believe in a book of fictional stories, Tootie.

  3. Maybe they did Dredd. Just because there’s no DNA in a red blood cell doesn’t mean there’s no DNA in a blood sample. There might be a white blood cell somewhere in that mosquito’s tummy and if not there are circumstance where soft tissue survives in the fossil record. Anything is possible.

    “Scientists recover T. rex soft tissue
    70 million-year-old fossil yields preserved blood vessels”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7285683/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/scientists-recover-t-rex-soft-tissue/#.Ul1f-dI3tns

  4. LK,
    Correct. Blood cells are not needed to extract DNA. For example, there are no blood cells of any kind, red or white, in either saliva or serum.

  5. Tootie,

    Wrong. On several points. Break it down for me, fellas.

    1. There’s no data for a young creation.

    2. The biblical timeframe is not anti-science. It has no relationship with science, one way or the other. The Easter Bunny is not anti-science. Last I heard, he/she had no opinion on science.

    3. There’s no body of facts to the contrary, regarding age of the earth.

    4. Abortion, with which you seem obsessed, has nothing to do with this topic. Science has no opinion on the definition of murder.

    5. Science doesn’t know anything. It’s a method of investigation, and a temporary repository of knowledge.

    6. You refuse to believe in what the scientific method has revealed about the age of the earth. Then you use science to defend the subjugation of women.

    Other than these minor quibbles, very good comment, Tootie.

  6. Data, data, bo bata,
    banana fanna fo fatta
    DATA!
    If the first two letters are ever the same,
    Ya drop them both and say the name,,,,

    This is complete BS. These schmucks could not get blood out of a turnip.
    Because there is none.

  7. “Data” is New Yorkie lingo for having a date with a blond. And the data shows that both New Yorkies and blonds do not get along. Otherwise there would be more blonds in NYC and they would be baptized. What BS this apCray is. God created Dog on the 8th Day and this was long after these guys say blood was around. This is only year 2013.

  8. Tootie, nothing in your rambling, incoherent post came anything close to a valid point. i award you no points and may whatever deity you believe in have mercy on your soul.

    1. By your final logic about eggs, having a hysterectomy is murder.
    2. Eagles are not overpopulated, unlike humans.
    3. This data suggests that life is not young on this planet.

  9. Amazing! That the theory of evolution does not show the mosquito evolving after 40 million years, its still a mosquito. wow.

  10. Mosquitoes, like other insects, have continued to evolve. For example, they have developed resistance to overused insecticides, such as DDT. DNA testing of two different strains of Anopheles gambiae the most prevalent vector for malaria in Africa, appear to be diverging into two different species of insect. On the Galapagos islands, it seems mosquitoes have developed the ability to digest reptile blood, which is not good news for the turtles and other reptiles.

    As far as their wings and general body shapes are concerned, we know that once an optimum aerodynamic capability develops, evolutionary branches that are not as efficient cannot compete and do not survive. Very early mosquitoes were less efficient and evolution took care of that by ensuring the survival of those strains which were most efficient at what they do in order to propagate the species.

    So, mosquitoes continue to evolve.

  11. that mosquito looks like the ones that I swat during the summer. 40 million years later.

    Ter ber brings up an interesting point.

  12. Bron,

    It’s most likely not the same species of mosquito. It looks similar to a modern mosquito because the mosquito found a niche in which that body type works well.

    She’s an insect, so she has six legs. She’s gotta fly, so she has wings. She sucks blood, so she has the mouth parts for that.

    Ter ber is making a superficial observation probably in hopes of throwing doubt on evolution. It didn’t work. Maybe with young children.

    Ter ber can correct me if I’m misjudging.

    The adults don’t need to be drawn in by this silliness.

    And what OS stated very well.

  13. Not to mention, we don’t know what size it is. The photo gives us nothing on that. It could be as large as a human hand, or twice the size of a modern mosquito. We know nothing about that from this photo. If it is a different size, then Ter Ber’s point isn’t a point at all.

  14. Bob Kauten:

    I personally dont believe that a wolf like creature turns into a blue whale because of the need to chase prey into the water.

    Elephants are “evolving” in Asia because hunters are shooting elephants with large tusks so those traits are no longer heritable. The elephants are not evolving they are still elephants and will probably remain elephants just as dogs may have been selectively bred for different characteristics, yet over thousands of years and more generations they are still dogs. They havent evolved into cats or some other creature.

    Pressure from external environmental factors will only change an animal so much. Like in the example of the elephants losing their tusks. Or take cystic fibrosis in humans, that mutation allowed our ancestors to survive cholera and typhus. But we are still humans.

    There had to be genetic mutations along with interbreeding of species to get those sorts of dynamic changes even over millions of years. It wasnt something to do with prey or a change in the environment. Those would have, in my opinion, caused minor changes such as the CF gene or the elephant tusk.

    Which goes back to Ter ber’s statment. I think we should be asking what causes genetic stability in a species so that it doesnt evolve over time? The answer isnt that it is now perfectly adapted so that it doesnt have to change.

  15. Jude:

    sure it is, if the oxygen content of the atmosphere was higher than it is now, it would have supported larger insects. Shaq is still homo sapiens.

  16. Bron,
    We now know that most evolutionary changes occur far faster than was understood even a few years ago. The real secret of evolution is DNA accidents. Fragmenting DNA, and so on. The better model has a better chance of surviving.

  17. OS:

    Yes, I believe that to be the case. But if DNA accidents happen, why does a species like an aligator not change in millions of years, except mabe very small changes. What causes the genetic stability?

  18. Bron,
    It is called “punctuated equilibrium.” In some animals change is very slow over huge spans of time. Others seem almost explosive in change. Caymans are a stable species, as are several other creatures. However, because they are stable over vast stretches of time does not mean evolution does not happen. If you look at the fossil record, there used to be huge crocodiles, just as Megalodon was a gigantic forerunner of the modern shark. What fossil records show is that even in stable species, there seems to be occasional episodes of rapid evolutionary change; hence, punctuated equilibrium.

  19. Bron,
    We’ve already answered your question. If an organism is well-suited to a niche that doesn’t change, then species change will be quite slow. There’ll be less evolutionary pressure.
    But all of us change, over millions of years. Some genetic change will eventually happen, that’s advantageous to the organism, eventually. Most of the changes will be deleterious.
    A land creature did not turn into a blue whale. An ape did not turn into a human.
    A land creature mutated so that it was better suited to swimming, than its ancestors. Very slowly. By chance, that turned out to be a beneficial mutation. The creatures slowly mutated to become better at catching prey in the water. After many millions of years, something similar to a whale developed. That was the ancestor to a blue whale.
    Primates have been around a very long time. A primate species branched out to fill some evolutionary niches. Most of the branches died out. One branch that didn’t, evolved into apes. Another branch, that didn’t yet die out, evolved into humans. We didn’t come from apes.
    Blue whales didn’t come from a wolf-like animal. They came from a whale-like animal.
    That’s the picture.

  20. Bron, The most diverse species in our world are dogs. They all derive from wolves. The wolf has a gene, unique to them, that allows quick hybrids that usually take centuries. Over just the past 20 years, the Russians have honed a species of bomb sniffing dogs. These dogs are incredibly bred to smell a grain of explosive material no other dog can. And, unlike other bomb sniffing breeds, this breed does not need to be shown objects to sniff, they lead and know where to sniff. They smell explosives, they bark once and sit. So, like most everything in life, it’s all in the genes. And the dog has, by far, the most easily adapted. I learned this on a National Geographic doc. Better than porn!

  21. I was thinkin’ that it’s more obvious that whales, dolphins, porpoises, and those guys, came from land animals, if you think about the fact that they are mammals with lungs.
    Lungs aren’t something that’s likely to develop in sea creatures. Gills work better, in the water.
    Seems they developed on land, and had to develop structures and habits that allowed them to get air, at least occasionally, for full-time water living.
    Fossil evidence of the transitional species has been identified.
    I believe National Geographic ran a pictorial on how whales are believed to have evolved.
    Yes, there are a few nice photos, here:
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/08/whale-evolution/barnes-photography

  22. Bron: “Elephants are “evolving” in Asia because hunters are shooting elephants with large tusks so those traits are no longer heritable.”

    More like they aren’t living long enough to develop those large tusks. That’s not an evolutionary development because the genetic traits for tusk size are still present and generational turnover in elephants doesn’t occur fast enough to show an evolutionary response to pressure from poaching. Mosquitoes, however, breed rapidly, with several or more generations each season. That’s why they would be able to develop an evolutionary resistance to commonly used pesticides.

    Evolutionary adaptations are based on a species suitability to survive. when a species is perfectly adapted to its environment, like crocs and sharks, they evolve very little, if at all, until a change occurs in the environment. Changes in the environment might be climate change or shifting food resources – either the type or amount of available food. That’s when the rapid changes OS described above will occur.

    Of course, I could just be spewing some of that god-hatin’ anti-science gibberish out of the left side of my mouth. Again

  23. Killer whales are actually dolphins. And, while most everyone considers the Great White Shark the top of the food chain, Orca’s eat them “w/ some fava beans and a nice chianti.” Netflix has all the National Geo docs and the Killer Whale one is fascinating. Higher order thinkers who communicate in different dialects based upon where they live in the world, just like we humans.

  24. rafflaw bleated “I think I will trust the carbon dating system set up by science rather than believe in a book of fictional stories, Tootie.”

    It is always entertaining to see how evolutionists/neodarwinists try to squirm their way around the many discoveries that contradict the popular politically protected theory of evolutionism.

    Where to begin… We will deal with the “fictional story” strawman argument later. First, you say that you’ll stick to the “carbon dating system” set up by science rather than your strawman book of fictional stories.

    I can gauge your knowledge of the Bible by the usage of strawman arguments. I can also detect that your knowledge of science is equally lacking. Otherwise, you would be knowledgeable of the fact that carbon dating is only “accurate” (and I use that term loosely here) to a few thousand years. Carbon dating is based on assumptions. I compare it to a room with a lit candle. Let’s say you enter a room where there is a burning candle. You are to guess how long the candle has been burning. But there are several factors that you don’t know. What is the rate of the candle burning. Carbon dating assumes a constant rate of decay. You can trust carbon dating as much as you can trust the assumption of how long a candle has been burning. You don’t know if the oxygen level in the room has been constant. You don’t know how big the candle was to start with, and you don’t know if the candle was tapered or not. So it’s quite obvious mainstream “science” has tried to distance itself from carbon dating since it isn’t accurate and is only useful for dating something within a few thousand years. Today the Rubidium Strontium Isochron is considered the “holy grail” of dating methods. However, as I’ll illustrate, even the trusted dating method falls flat.

    Take the Unikaret lava flows near the Grand Canyon. Several dating methods were used to determine the age of this lava flow.

    Six Potassium Argon dating methods yielded results from 10,000 years to 117 million years old

    Five Rubidium Strontium dating methods yielded 1.27 billion years to 1.39 billion years old

    Four Lead/Lead Isochron methods were at 2.6 billion years old

    One Rubidium Strontium Isochron yielded 1.34 billion years old

    Remember, the Rubidium Strontium Isochron method is considered the most accurate. There’s only one problem. There were Indian artifacts found in an archaeological dig that dated the area to be 800 to 1,000 years old. WHOOPS! Your science that you cling to and trust so well had the area dated between 10,000 years to 2.6 BILLION years old!

    Also it is interesting to point out that the alleged age of the earth has increased exponentially over the past few decades. Your science seems to be using a rubber ruler for some odd reason. And upon every discovery, your scientists always try to shoe-horn data to fit preconceived notions. That’s why we see such asinine exponentially erroneous dates for objects because evolution demands such a ridiculous time frame to work. (Never mind some scientists have concluded that there simply hasn’t been enough time for evolution to have produced anything. The human body, for example, is a “statistical monstrosity” for evolutionism).

    There have been objects found in coal seams such as bells, shoe soles, spark plugs, tools, etc… found buried deep in coal seams that are SUPPOSED to have taken billions of years to form. There have been petrified trees standing vertically that passes through several layers that allegedly are separated by millions of years. And don’t even get me started about the whole circular reasoning “strata dates the fossils/fossils date the strata” issue that plagues so many school textbooks.

    Now, on to that “fictional book” strawman argument. There’s a passage in the Bible that talks about the sun having a circuit. Only recently, scientists have “discovered” that the sun isn’t in a fixed point in space as previously believed. Matthew Mauray read something in the Bible about “paths of the sea”. He took God’s word literally and went out to find them. Modern oceanography is indebted to his discovery of the channels of the sea. Still another passage talks about freshwater springs at the bottom of the ocean. This was of course, written a couple thousand years before the discovery of freshwater vents at the bottom of the ocean. Also we are aware that the Bible is archaeologically correct. Every discovery of ancient civilizations agrees with the Biblical account. At the same time the scripture was penned, Isaiah and other passages described a spherical earth that hung “upon nothing”, the trusted scientific knowledge at the time thought the earth was carried on the back of a huge turtle.

    Now we observe that the facts in the Bible don’t change, but your “science” changes daily, molding itself to every discovery and trying to take on a new shape in order to desperately keep alive the completely stupid belief in evolutionism. Think how further along we would be in science if such idiotic belief systems such as evolutionism/neodarwinism were put to rest a long time ago.

    Something interesting I’d like to know, if you had to defend your evolutionism in a court of law, would you be able to do so?

  25. Otteray Scribe mosquitoes evolve into what? (drum roll……) MOSQUITOES! Mosquitoes aren’t “evolving”, they are simply adapting to changes in their surroundings. They aren’t going to change into something else over x-billion years like the phoney evolutionism theory claims. Also it is interesting to note that you say a mosquito is turning into a new “species”. Note that species labels are a human invention.

    Take a diatom for example. A diatom with a change in its pattern of only a few microns is considered a new “species” of diatom even though it is still a diatom!

    The truth is, things follow their own kind. Dogs have dogs, fish have fish, etc… A cow will give birth to a cow every single time. No matter how many x-billion years you throw at it.

  26. Bob Kauten,

    An additional evolutionary fact not spoken in this video, but observed by me. Male visual acuity can often interrupt male perceptive and focusing acumen. LOL !! ……
    Why women do not control the world is beyond me. :o)

  27. Hubert, I accept science as an imperfect yet evolving collection of facts, and understanding of the nature of “Life, the Universe, and Everything else”.
    Humans and their brains are limited by what we know. Science explores and increases knowledge. When science errs there are many corrective and critical assessments thrown at the error. Thus insuring a dynamic, growing, truthful body of knowledge.
    There is much wisdom in the Bible. There is much wisdom in many books and philosophies. Science is not wisdom, it is the search for factual explanation. Wisdom is how we Humans use facts for the good of ourselves and fellow human race.

  28. Hubert,
    Your mind must ache from the contortions you just went through.
    But I must commend you on your creativity.

    You made up all that crap, as you went along.
    Or maybe not. Creationists and other closed minds have had many years,
    now, to think of wild explanations to discredit evolution.

    The ironic part is that evolution happens, constantly, whether or not great bronze age desert thinkers believe it.

    I’m not going to refute your fantasies, one-by-one.
    It’s boring.

  29. Hubert,

    First off, a good physicist could figure out how long your candle had been burning by examining the available evidence, like the amount of melted wax at the base of the candle, figuring it’s volume, observing the burn rate of the still burning candle and the volume of unburned wax. If the match was still present, heat readings might provide additional data, and so forth. Then, by running some mathematical computations (math, God’s true language), he could come up with a pretty decent range for how long your candle had been burning.

    The problem for you, Hubieboy, is that carbon dating is a testable method that can be cross checked with other verifiable data to determine its accuracy. Just because you blindly accepted the word of a stranger, doesn’t mean that scientists are given to same flawed thinking. And, we can test the accuracy of carbon dating thanks to Steno’s Principles, particularly the Law of Lateral Continuity. Note that these are laws of science, not theories like evolution or gravity. They’re based on verifiable, incontrovertible evidence and when we come up with a law in science, it’s like we’re saying, “we know what God was thinking”.

    That said, if you want to kling to your book of fairy tales, go right ahead. I just wish you and your ilk would start acting like you actually believe in the principles it contained.

  30. davidbluefish,

    The actual reason for my posting the video, was that Cristina never once said, “My eyes are up here!”

    That’s gotta be a first.

  31. Hubert,
    No one has said an insect will evolve into a turtle, rabbit or anything but an insect. What they do is evolve into new species, which I mentioned above. If a species is successful, it will survive. If not, it eventually disappears. Evolution does not look like a straight line. It looks like a tree with many branches.

    As humans, we are not descended from apes. However, both apes and humans are descended from a common ancestor millions of years ago. On top of that, some of nature’s experiments in human evolution has had a few dead ends too. When was the last time you ran into a Neanderthal? Cro Magnons out-competed them for survival and they are now extinct.

    As for carbon dating, that only goes back so far, and can only date carbon-based life forms that were alive once. An alternate method of dating really old objects is radioactive decay, or radionuclide dating. RD dating can be used for objects that were never alive, such as rocks. That method was discovered over a hundred years ago, so it’s not exactly new. RD dating can be used to date the oldest rocks on earth. The oldest known rock found so far has been dated at 4.28 billion years using radionuclide dating.

  32. Bron,

    Hubert wouldn’t post on a blog with any educated folks present, if he didn’t love punishment.

    He goads us into castigating him, with his gift for choosing the most perfect, mind-boggling, brain-dead comments.

    I guess it’s better than getting no attention, at all.

    Hubert actually believes that his sky-daddy reads this blog, and will award him brownie-points for displaying his ignorance. Testifying, ya know?

    Good luck with that, Hubert!

  33. I used to enjoy reading Stephen Jay Gould’s nonfiction books as well as his articles. I remember finding his theory of Punctuated Equilibrium extremely interesting.

    *****

    Punctuated Equilibrium
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/5/l_035_01.html

    The concept of punctuated equilibrium was, to some, a radical new idea when it was first proposed by Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge in 1972. Now it is widely recognized as a useful model for one kind of evolutionary change. The relative importance of punctuated and gradual patterns of evolution is a subject of debate and research.

    Punctuated Equilibrium:

    Charles Darwin understood that evolution was a slow and gradual process. By gradual, Darwin did not mean “perfectly smooth,” but rather, “stepwise,” with a species evolving and accumulating small variations over long periods of time until a new species was born. He did not assume that the pace of change was constant, however, and recognized that many species retained the same form for long periods.

    Still, if evolution is gradual, there should be a fossilized record of small, incremental changes on the way to a new species. But in many cases, scientists have been unable to find most of these intermediate forms. Darwin himself was shaken by their absence. His conclusion was that the fossil record was lacked these transitional stages, because it was so incomplete.

    That is certainly true in many cases, because the chances of each of those critical changing forms having been preserved as fossils are small. But in 1972, evolutionary scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge proposed another explanation, which they called “punctuated equilibrium.” That is, species are generally stable, changing little for millions of years. This leisurely pace is “punctuated” by a rapid burst of change that results in a new species and that leaves few fossils behind.

    According to this idea, the changes leading to a new species don’t usually occur in the mainstream population of an organism, where changes wouldn’t endure because of so much interbreeding among like creatures. Rather, speciation is more likely at the edge of a population, where a small group can easily become separated geographically from the main body and undergo changes that can create a survival advantage and thus produce a new, non-interbreeding species.

    This hypothesis predicts that the fossil record at any one site is unlikely to record the process of speciation. If a site records that the ancestral species lived there, the new species would probably be evolving somewhere else. The small size of the isolated population which is evolving into a new species reduces the odds that any of its members will be fossilized. The new species will only leave fossils at the same site as the old one if it becomes successful enough to move back into its ancestral range or different enough to exist alongside its relatives.

    Scientists have scrutinized the fossil records of many organisms looking for evidence of punctuated evolution. One group of coral-like sea organisms in particular, called bryozoan, shows this kind of pattern. The well-preserved fossil record of bryozoans shows that one species first appeared about 140 million years ago and remained unchanged for its first 40 million years. Then there was an explosion of diversification, followed by another period of stability for vast amounts of time.

    Although the patterns predicted by punctuated equilibrium have been observed in at least some cases, debate continues over how frequently this model of evolutionary change occurs — is it the norm, or only an exception? Punctuated equilibrium also generates interesting questions for further research. What, for example, are the processes that produce rapid evolution? Population genetic studies show us that small changes can accrue quickly in small populations. And evolutionary developmental biology is revealing new mechanisms that regulate the expression of small genetic changes in ways that can have a large effect on phenotype. Which evolutionary factors are primarily responsible for the periods of stasis — in which lineages persist without change — that can be observed in the fossil record? In seeking the answers to these questions, researchers will continue to advance our understanding of the evolutionary processes that produced the remarkable variety of life on Earth.

  34. Bob K, the video was cool.and the NatGeo slide show was greatly entertaining. i have never heard/read of that site (Wadi Hitan) so it was a double and novel treat, something shiny and new with a very nice photo spread. I collected some small fossils (Crinoid stalks and mollusks) in a clay and shattered limestone bed that was close to my house and disrupted by construction. Also went mining for geodes a couple of times. It’s a strange feeling holding something in your hand that is millions (hundreds of millions) of years old, old beyond any … connectivity, in a manner of speaking, and imagining it’s world. Holding it’s remains. It’s like meeting an alien.

    I’ve got a couple of the more strange and unknown artifacts on the desk I’m typing from. Yeah, in any event thanks for the whale fossil pics, I’m going to play with my fossils now.

  35. lottakatz,

    You’re welcome.

    Yeah, I stumbled on Cristina Rad’s video by accident. “Let’s see what this ditzy girl has to say.” I had deceived myself.

    She’s actually super-intelligent, well-spoken, and funny. Serendipitous, that she talked about whale development. I didn’t know about the middle-ear business.
    We really do have a pretty complete documentation of whale development, in the fossil record. Shrinking legs, and everything.

    National Geographic gives great value, introducing us to stuff we’d never get around to studying.

    Finding a fossil is such a wonderful gift. Have fun with them.

  36. bOB K/Lottakatz:

    if you ever want to go fossil hunting, go to Maryland near the Calvert Cliffs, the dam things spill out all over the place, whale bones, crocidile bones, fish bones, etc and you can find all kinds of fossil teeth along the beach for miles.

    Huge shark teeth too, as big as your hand.

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