Bizarre Jurassic Parasite Fossil Found in China
by Jeanna Bryner
The fossil of a wild-looking parasite with a tiny head and whose midbody evolution transformed into a sucking plate, has been discovered in what is now northeastern China.
Some 165 million years ago, the parasite — a 0.7 inch-long (2 centimeters) fly larva — would’ve crept onto passing salamanders and other amphibians, latched onto their bodies with a sucker and then used its piercing mouthparts to slurp up the host’s blood.
The larva — now called Qiyia jurassica, or “Qiyia,” which means “bizarre” in Chinese, and “jurassica,” for the time period in which it lived — sported a relatively tiny, tube-shaped head tipped with its blood-sucking mouthparts, a midbody or thorax that worked as a sucker and caterpillarlike hind legs…
(read more: Live Science)
illustration by Yang Dingua, Nanjing