It sounds like something from the "Alien" movie series, but wasps living in the age of dinosaurs put eggs in fly dummies, with the wasps eating the flies from within.
The study, published in The Science journal Nature, showed that four new wasp species were found in fossilized pupae dating back to the Paleogene period about 65 million to 23 million years ago. The female wasps would lay their eggs in the fly dummies, and if the wasps grew, they would reap the bodies of the flies as food.
The most famous wasp was named Xenomorphia resurrecta after the parasitic xenomorph in the "Alien" series. The other species found are named Xenomorphia handschini Coptera anka and Palaeortona quercyensis .
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"About 50 [percent] of all animal species are considered parasites," write the authors of the study abstractly. "The link between biodiversity and a parasitic lifestyle is particularly evident in the insect order Hymenoptera, but fossil evidence of host-parasitoid interactions is extremely rare and suggests hypotheses about the development of parasitism."
The study, led by Thomas van de Kamp, noted that "evidence of parasitism in fossils is generally rare, as it requires information about the interaction between both partners."
The only previous example of a parasitoid wasp in its conserved host was found in the Quercy region in France, and is about 34-40 million years old, the researchers wrote.
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The discoveries were made possible by van de Kamp and the other researchers looked at the puppets with X-rays and then used 3D modeling, to reconstruct what they had seen after LiveScience
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