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Bedbugs roamed the Earth alongside the dinosaurs 100 million years ago

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Bedbugs have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, according to new research, although the parasites are not likely to bully the prehistoric reptiles.

A new study, published in Current Biology on Thursday, found that the bedbugs are already 100 million years — significantly longer than scientists had previously believed.

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“To think that the pests that live in our beds today has evolved from more than 100 million years ago, walked the Earth side by side with the dinosaurs was a revelation. It shows that the evolutionary history of bed bugs is far more complex than we previously thought,” Professor Mike Siva-Jothy of Sheffield University, who participated in the study, said in a press release.

Dr. Steffen Roth of the Museum of the University of Bergen in Norway, who led the study, said that scientists had previously believed bats were the first hosts of bedbugs. However, bats only developed 50 to 60 million years ago.

A new study suggests bedbugs have evolved 100 million years — about 50 million years before the bat, which was believed to have been the parasite’s first host. (Stock image)
(iStock)

“It was also unexpected to see that evolutionary older bedbugs were already specialized on a single host type, even though we don’t know what the host was at the time of T. rex walked the earth,” Roth said.

According to the study, the scientists believe that it is unlikely that the parasites fed the dinosaurs, because bedbugs usually feed on animals with “homes” — such as the nest of a bird, or a man bed — that dinosaurs don’t have.

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Roth and his colleagues for 15 years, the analysis of bedbug species from around the world. They studied the DNA of 34 species from 62 locations, according to The New York Times.

The scientists also discovered that each half of a million years, a new species of bedbugs “overcomes the man,” and while bedbugs usually specialize on new hosts, some bedbugs between different types of hosts.

Investigators also found the two bedbug species that feed on humans — the common and the tropical bedbug —much older than the man.

“These findings will help us better understand how bedbugs have evolved the properties that they are effectively vermin … that will also help us to find new ways of controlling them,” Siva-Jothy said.

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