Fossilized Flea May Hold Ancestor Bacteria of the Black Death

A 20-million-year-old flea preserved in amber harbors the likely ancestor of bacteria that caused one of the world’s deadliest plagues, the Black Death, according to a new study.

Researchers believe the bacteria, described in the Journal of Medical Entomology, was an ancient strain of Yersinia pestis, which caused the bubonic plague, aka the Black Death. More than a third of Europe’s population - at least 30 million people - succumbed from the scourge in the 14th century.

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Source: Journal of Medical Entomology