Feathered dinos had ticks, claim scientists in articles in, National Geographic 12 December 2017, BBC News and ScienceDaily 13 December 2017, and Nature Communications doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01550-z published online 12 December 2017.

An international team of researchers from Spain, USA and UK have found three species of ticks preserved in amber from Burma. The amber is dated as being 99 million years old. One of the ticks, Cornupalpatum burmanicum is entangled in the barbs of a tiny feather also embedded in the amber. Ticks today are blood sucking parasites, and one fossil tick was found engorged with blood, so the scientists have named it Deinocroton draculi, meaning “Dracula’s terrible tick”.

Because of the age of the amber and the presence of a feather, the scientists concluded the ticks were infesting feathered dinosaurs. One researchers Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente, of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, explained: “We are not able to pinpoint the exact host. But we can rule out modern birds, as they only appeared about 25 million years later than the age of the Burmese amber”.

He also commented to the BBC: “Ticks parasitised feathered dinosaurs; now we have direct evidence of it”. Because there was more than one species of tick preserved in the amber the research team concluded they were they had infested the nest of their host.

David Grimaldi of the American Museum of Natural History, another of the researchers, explained: “The simultaneous entrapment of two external parasites – the ticks – is extraordinary, and can be best explained if they had a nest-inhabiting ecology as some modern ticks do, living in the host’s nest or in their own nest nearby”.

The two Deinocroton ticks had hairs from a dermestid beetle attached to them. These are otherwise known as skin beetles, and live in nests, where they feed on feathers, skin fragments and hair. The BBC summed up the scientists’ conclusions about the amber ticks as: “One is entangled with a dinosaur feather, another is swollen with blood, and two were in a dinosaur nest”.

The scientists entitled their paper in Nature Communications “Ticks parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages”.

Links: BBC, National Geographic, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Talk about evolutionary belief being imposed on the evidence, rather than drawn from evidence. The actual data here is three fossil ticks, along with one tiny feather identical to a living bird feather which could have come from a baby bird. The presence of skin beetle hairs is a further hint the ticks were in a bird’s nest. BUT … there is no evidence of any dinosaurs in any of this!

Tick & Feather in AmberAmber containing embedded feather and tick.  Tick is in the white outlined area. See below for more detail.

Amber Tick


So let’s be blunt – if this amber had been given a more recent date the scientists would have concluded the ticks were infesting a bird’s nest. Their pagan obsession with the dino-bird fairy stories is their sole motivation.



Photos of Amber: Peñalver, et. al. (2017) Parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages, Nature Communications doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01550-z Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence CC BY 4.0

Evidence News vol. 18, No.1
14 February 2018
Creation Research Australia

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