|A 46-million-year-old blood-engorged female mosquito from northwestern Montana. |
Image credit: Dale E. Greenwalt et al.
You might think paleontologists find blood-engorged mosquitoes all the time. Not so. Fossil mosquitoes are only rarely found, possibly because their fragile bodies do not readily fossilize and because they did not seem to frequent the resin-producing forests that preserved other insects in amber. This specimen was found in oil shale, not amber.
Dale Greenwalt, Yulia Goreva, Sandra Siljeström, Tim Rose, & Ralph E. Harbach (2013). Hemoglobin-derived porphyrins preserved in a Middle Eocene blood-engorged mosquito Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1310885110.