The parasite, an elongate fly larva around two centimeters long, had undergone extreme changes over the course of evolution: The head is tiny in comparison to the body, tube-shaped with piercer-like mouthparts at the front. The mid-body (thorax) has been completely transformed underneath into a gigantic sucking plate; the hind-body (abdomen) has caterpillar-like legs.
The international research team believes that this unusual animal is a parasite which lived in a landscape with volcanoes and lakes what is now northeastern
The spectacular fly larva, has received the scientific name of 'Qiyia jurassica', as 'Qiyia' in Chinese means 'bizarre' while 'jurassica' refers to the Jurassic period to which the fossils belong.
For the international team of scientists from the
As unpleasant as the parasites were for the salamanders, their deaths were not caused by the fly larvae. A parasite only sometimes kills its host when it has achieved its goal, for example, reproduction or feeding, Dr Wappler explained. If Qiyia jurassica had passed through the larval stage, it would have grown into an adult insect after completing metamorphosis.
The scientists don't yet have enough information to speculate as to what the adult it would have looked like, and how it might have lived.
The finding is presented in the journal eLIFE. (ANI)
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