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46-million-year-old mosquito fossil found in Montana


A fossil of a mosquito was found on a riverbank in Montana but the blood inside it cannot be used to create dinosaurs sadly.


Johan Ordonez

Cue the theme music from Jurassic Park:

A 46-million-year-old mosquito fossil full of blood has been found in a Montana riverbed.

It is one of the rarest fossils ever found but, sadly for us, the DNA from the blood cannot be extracted to make dinosaurs given how old it is.

Also, dinosaurs were long extinct by then, thus further precluding the possibility of being chased through a science lab by a bunch of raptors.

“It’s following Crichton’s script in that we’re using a blood engorged fossil mosquito and in this case we’re using the direct descendent of the dinosaurs, given that we’re 20 million years late,” said study author Dale Greenwalt of the Smithsonian Institution.

The contents of the mosquito's belly will likely never be known but the scientists speculated that it could be the blood of a bird.

The fossils Greenwalt collects for the Smithsonian are in a remote Montana riverbed in Glacier National Park near the Canadian border. The erosion of the riverbed has exposed fossils, including this one of the mosquito.

However, this find was not made by Greenwalt himself but rather his mentor. Greenwalt found the fossil among his collection in the basement of his mentor's home.

"As soon as I saw it, I knew it was different," Greenwalt told AFP.

The oldest known mosquito fossil is 95 million years-old and was found in a piece of amber in Myanmar.

The new findings were published in the Proceedings of the journal National Academy of Sciences.