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Write a
paragraph summarizing the research or research area covered in this article.
Include a link to the article you are discussing.

At the Oxford University Museum of Natural
History, scientists have recently discovered a tick hanging on to a dinosaur’s
feather preserved in amber. The persevered tick is an ancient and different
species of tick which was named Deinocroton
draculi, or “Dracula’s terrible tick”. This discovery also shows how
similar today’s ticks and their ancestors are, and how they both preyed
commonly on birds.

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What are
the names of the researchers that did this work and in which journal was the
original work published? (Examples of journals would be Science, Nature, Cell,
New England Journal of Medicine, etc.)

The sample itself came from amber collector
Scott Anderson who had teamed up with paleontologist Ricardo Perez-de la Fuente
and his colleagues at the Oxford Museum. The work was originally published in
the journal Nature Communications.


Are other
scientists quoted in the article? What do their comments tell you about this

The only other scientist in the Article was
Ryan McKellar, a paleontologist at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, where he
agrees with Perez-de la Fuente on a previously found tick sample where ticks
were found with hair. McKellar’s comment makes this research seem even more
important, since it would be the first real sample.


the topic or topics we have covered in class that relate to your article.

We have discussed parasitism, a non-mutual
relationship between species where one species, the parasite, benefits at the
expense of another species. The tick was getting blood from the bird that it
was attached to, an ancient form of parasitism. This may also have to do with
evolution, seeing as the tick still looks and acts the same then as it does
today means that it hasn’t evolved too much.


Does this
new information contradict anything we learned in class?

No, mainly because we learned about parasitism
and evolution (or the lack of).


What sort
of change might occur because of this research? How is the research helpful?

Perhaps more amber collectors will consider
donating their specimens to science in the hope of discovering a new species.
Paleontologists will also be examining more closely for ticks and other
parasites in the future as well. The research helps us understand the tick, and
how they have been in this parasitic relationship long before man had come
along a little better.




What about
this research topic interested you?

I’ve always thought about being a
paleontologist, discovering my own dinosaur and digging up fossils would be a
blast. The fact that an animal, or any animal, was able to be that well
preserved in amber for 99 million years is insane! I’d love to own something in
amber too!


Why do you
think this is important research?

This research helps us better understand the parasitic
relationship of a tick, and how it has been doing the same thing forever. As
previously mentioned, the tick still looks and acts the same, meaning that it
has not evolved much even after extinction of dinosaurs.


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