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The first flea with fully distended abdomen from the Early Cretaceous of China

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, August 2014
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
6 tweeters
2 Wikipedia pages

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16 Mendeley
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The first flea with fully distended abdomen from the Early Cretaceous of China
Published in
BMC Evolutionary Biology, August 2014
DOI 10.1186/s12862-014-0168-1
Pubmed ID

Taiping Gao, Chungkun Shih, Alexandr P Rasnitsyn, Xing Xu, Shuo Wang, Dong Ren


BackgroundFleas, the most notorious insect ectoparasites of human, dogs, cats, birds, etc., have recently been traced to its basal and primitive ancestors during the Middle Jurassic. Compared with extant fleas, these large basal fleas have many different features. Although several fossil species with transitional morphologies filled the evolutionary blank, the early evolution of these ectoparasites is still poorly known.ResultsHere we report a new flea with transitional characters, Pseudopulex tanlan sp. nov., assigned to Pseudopulicidae, from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. Different from the previously described pseudopulicids, P. tanlan has relatively smaller body size but lacking any ctenidia on the tibiae or body, while the male with comparatively smaller and shorter genitalia. On the other hand, P. tanlan has some characters similar to the transitional fleas of saurophthirids, such as, a small head, short compacted antennae, small pygidium and many stiff setae covering the body.ConclusionsEven though other possibilities can not be ruled out, the female specimen with extremely distended abdomen suggests that it might have consumed its last meal before its demise. Compared with other reported female flea fossils, we calculate and estimate that P. tanlan sp. nov. might have consumed 0.02 milliliter (ml) of blood, which is about 15 times of the intake volume by extant fleas. These new findings further support that fleas had evolved a broad diversity by the Early Cretaceous.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 6 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 16 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 3 19%
Germany 1 6%
Unknown 12 75%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Professor 5 31%
Student > Master 4 25%
Professor > Associate Professor 2 13%
Researcher 2 13%
Other 1 6%
Other 2 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 5 31%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 4 25%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 13%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 1 6%
Environmental Science 1 6%
Other 1 6%
Unknown 2 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 September 2020.
All research outputs
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Outputs from BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Outputs of similar age
of 211,685 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Altmetric has tracked 18,925,022 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,838 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.8. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 211,685 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one.