The study of fossil parasites can provide insight into the antiquity of host-parasite relationships and the origins and evolution of these paleoparasites. Here, a coprolite (fossilized feces) from the 1.2-million-yr-old paleontological site of Haro River Quarry in northwestern Pakistan was analyzed for paleoparasites. Micromorphological thin sectioning and Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) analysis confirms the coprolite belonged to a bone-eating carnivore, likely the extinct giant short-faced hyena (Pachycrocuta brevirostris). Parasitological analysis shows the coprolite to be positive for Toxocara sp. To our knowledge, this is the earliest evidence for Toxocara sp. found.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© American Society of Parasitologists 2017.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics