Did bedbugs survive the impact event that wiped out dinosaurs?
DNA analysis of some 30 different bed bug species showed that the insect has been around for at least 115 million years. Previously, scientists suggested bed bugs emerged between 50 and 60 million years ago. Bats were supposedly the blood-suckers5 first victims. But the latest findings — published in the journal Current Biology — proved the insect predates the bat by some 50 million years.
“To think that the pests that live in our beds today evolved more than 100 million years ago and were walking the Earth side by side w^ith dinosaurs, was a revelation/5 Mike Siva-Jothy, professor of animal and plant sciences at the University of Sheffield, said in a news release. ccIt shows that the evolutionary history of bed bugs is far more complex than we previously thought.”
Siva-Jothy and his research partners spent 15 years collecting bed bug specimens from remote caves and cliffs. They are hopeful the findings will
help them better understand how bedbugs evolved over the years and the new ways of controlling them.