Ticks suck, both literally and in the sense that they are rather unpleasant creatures. They annoy the piss out of you, pass on deadly diseases, and generally give you bad vibes about attending anything outdoors. They’re aggravating to humans and animals alike, and now paleontologists have uncovered the first real evidence that the tiny bastards bugged the hell out of dinosaurs as well.

tick dinosaurs
Credit Nature Communications; PeƱalver et al.

In the picture above, you’ll find a 99-million-year-old tick entombed in amber, grasping the feather of a dinosaur. The tick, which Dr. David Grimaldi and his colleagues concluded was a nymph, similar in size to a deer tick, was feasting on a dinosaur no bigger than a hummingbird, which Dr. Grimaldi refers to as a “nanoraptor.” Evidence suggests that the tick was living in the nest of the dinosaurs and feasting on their blood.

The team determined that the host was more likely a nonavian dinosaur and not a modern bird based on molecular dating, which suggested the specimen was at least 25 million years older than modern birds.

Unfortunately, it was also revealed that there was no chance of any Jurassic Park procedures being performed with the ticks. But if you’re worrying that this means you’ll never see a living, breathing dinosaur- fret not.

Life finds a way.

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