Why am I itching?
As if impending extinction wasn't enough, dinosaurs were also plagued by giant mega-fleas that impaled their soft underbellies and feasted on their blood. Illustration of prehistoric flea Nom, nom, nom, nom... The super-fleas, which were around ten times the size of the fleas that bother dogs nowadays had an extra-painful …
There's a really unpleasant bit in Will Ferrell vehicle Land of the Lost where he gets drained by a massive blood sucking insect. Am I the only person who finds Ferrell not as funny as everyone says he is?
Anna Friel in shorts though, cor.
not that big not but imagine 2000 of the jumpy jumpy little blood suckers comming after you cause Fido been sucked dry..
I would be packing the can of raid with the attached zippo
failing that as our fellow reg reader said
Its the only way to be sure
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I can just hear a couple of surviving dinosaurs having a conversation
"When I was a lad, we proper fleas, not these miniature little things that cannot bit through a piece of paper if they wanted to!"
"Right you are! I remember fleas that could bite right through a Triceratops's scales, he could"
"That's nothing, I saw some fleas that could drill straight through an Ankylosaur's club, no less"
"Rubbish, we had fleas which could drill for oil, they could, bite so strong it would go a mile through solid rock, it could!"
"And the problem with kids these days is that when you tell them they don't believe a word you say!"
Eee but they ad it good in them days did yorkshire. Dinosaurs was real predators, not like them pansy souther soft lions and tigers. And what are they doin here anyway, bluddy immigrant predators takin predatin from real hard workin sorts what want it but can't get it. Soft as muck they are, and they always tek what's rightfully ours right under oru noses, bold as brass an hard as nails! Just cos tha's got a dicky leg an thirty million years on the clock doesn't mean thee 'as to sit back while some brazen nicks tha prey!
Oh wait, that's east lancs. Never moind.
And your point, Kleykenb? There are plenty of modern insects larger than this, there's a 3cm hornet that regularly visits my lounge, for instance. I wouldn't like to get attacked by either... I'll leave the hornet be until the gecko gets it, and the flea, well, 65 million years in the bedrock should do it.
I vaguely remember a brilliant SF short story from the 1960s (I think) called something like "Poor Little Hunter". A brilliant scientist invents a time machine and (as one would) jumps back to the Cretaceous to shoot a brontosaur (as they called them in the 1960s). He drops a big specimen - about 60 tons - with his first shot, and is just going for a closer look when he sees some creatures racing towards him from the dead dino's direction. Moments later he is hit by half a dozen dog-sized parasites, which chew him up in seconds leaving little but a few bones.
Moral: (1) respect the ecosystem - especially if it's in your own distant past - and (2) it's not always the big animal that is the real threat.
Close -- I recall the story but not the author. Tourist time-travel was common and Claude, whose wife was named Maude, decided to bag a big dinosaur. (He was not the inventor of time travel.) After shooting the creature and watching its head slowly sink into the muck, he is disappointed in the anti-climax and turns to leave but is knocked down by something landing on his back (followed by a few others).
Nevertheless, good morals.
Description: flat-bodied, long claws holding onto scales.
Picture: plump-bodied, short claws holding onto skin with feathers.
Or maybe El Reg has (mistakenly) chosen a stock image of a modern flea to illustrate the article?
Either way, someone has stuffed up the picture.
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