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Latest George Poinar, Jr. Stories

Amber Catches 100 Million-year-old Spider Attack
2012-10-09 04:32:07

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers at Oregon State University have found an extraordinarily rare fossil. Trapped in amber is what the research team describes as the only example of a spider attack on prey caught in its web — a 100 million year old snapshot of an engagement frozen in time. Found in the Hukawng Valley of Nyanmar, the fossil dates from the Cretaceous between 97 and 100 million years ago. Giving some evidence to oldest examples of spider...

Prehistoric Flea-Like Insects Were A Mean Bunch
2012-05-02 07:09:47

Illustration by Wang Cheng, Oregon State University --- Massive flea-like insect fossils discovered by Chinese scientists are believed to be the oldest of their kind, and may have feasted on dinosaurs some 165 million years ago, according to zoologists who analyzed the creatures. The fossils were discovered in Inner Mongolia by a group of Chinese scientists, and recently announced in the journal Current Biology. The blood-sucking pests, which are similar to fleas, are more likely...

A Battle Of The Vampires, 20 Million Years Ago
2012-02-04 04:33:28

They are tiny, ugly, disease-carrying little blood-suckers that most people have never seen or heard of, but a new discovery in a one-of-a-kind fossil shows that “bat flies” have been doing their noxious business with bats for at least 20 million years. For bats, that´s a long time to deal with a parasite doing its best vampire impression. Maybe it is nature´s revenge on the vampire bat, an aggressive blood consumer in its own right that will feed on anything from...

Image 1 - Which Came First? Humans Or Malaria?
2011-11-03 03:41:16

Malaria Revealed As Ancient, Adaptive And Persistent Foe One of the most comprehensive analyses yet done of the ancient history of insect-borne disease concludes for the first time that malaria is not only native to the New World, but it has been present long before humans existed and has evolved through birds and monkeys. The findings, presented in a recent issue of American Entomologist by researchers from Oregon State University, are based on the study of insect specimens preserved...

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2011-06-27 08:31:48

About 100 million years ago, a tiny mayfly had a problem. Like most adult mayflies, she only had that one day to live anyway, so there was no time to waste. She took her mating flight, got fertilized, and was about to lay her eggs when something went horribly wrong. She got stuck in some oozing tree sap and died, preserved for all time in the magic of amber. There would be ho hatchlings. It was a pretty rude ending to what was already going to be a short adulthood. But her personal tragedy...

2009-05-15 13:49:27

A termite entombed for 100 million years has revealed the oldest example ever found of animals and microorganisms working together, a U.S. scientist said. The termite was found in a chunk of amber excavated in 2001 from a mine in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, said George Poinar, a researcher at Oregon State University. The termite, which lived during the Early Cretaceous period in the age of the dinosaurs, landed in the amber with a wounded abdomen, from which spilled protozoa the...

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2009-05-15 09:20:00

The analysis of a termite entombed for 100 million years in an ancient piece of amber has revealed the oldest example of "mutualism" ever discovered between an animal and microorganism, and also shows the unusual biology that helped make this one of the most successful, although frequently despised insect groups in the world.The findings were made by George Poinar, an Oregon State University researcher and international expert on life forms found in amber. It was just published in Parasites...

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2008-01-07 15:45:00

We all know the story - dinosaurs were supposedly wiped out by an asteroid over 65million years ago. However, it is now being suggested that it could have been disease-spreading mosquitoes and other biting insects that lead to their demise. Husband and wife team George and Roberta Poinar from Oregon State University suggest that disease spread by mosquitoes, mites and ticks was probably the major factor that finished off the reptiles. By changing the nature of plant life, these insects could...

2006-10-30 10:19:14

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A scientist has found a 100 million-year-old bee trapped in amber, making it possibly the oldest bee ever found. "I knew right away what it was, because I had seen bees in younger amber before," said George Poinar, a zoology professor at Oregon State University. The bee is about 40 million years older than previously found bees. The discovery of the ancient bee may help explain the rapid expansion and diversity of flowering plants during that time. Poinar found the bee...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.