Everyone has learned it at one time or another in their lives: only female mosquitoes feed on our blood. They would need this source of protein for the maturation of their eggs, biologists believe. However, the origins of this haematophagy, which is differentiated according to sex, remain mysterious. A new discovery made in Lebanon, at the Mdeirij-Hammana outcrop in the centre of the country, now adds a new layer of complexity to the problem.
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Lebanese paleontologist and geologist Dany Azar has just unearthed the two oldest mosquito fossils ever found in amber. Their description was published Monday in the journal Current Biology. They belong to a new species, called Libanoculex intermedius, and are about 130 million years old. This pushes back the oldest members of the mosquito family, the Culicidae, by more than 30 million years. This confirms...
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