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Earliest evidence of Toxocara sp. in a 1.2-million-yr-old extinct hyena (Pachycrocuta brevirostris) coprolite from Northwest Pakistan

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Perri,  Angela R.
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Gur-Arieh,  Shira
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Research Group on Plant Foods in Hominin Dietary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Perri, A. R., Heinrich, S., Gur-Arieh, S., & Saunders, J. J. (2017). Earliest evidence of Toxocara sp. in a 1.2-million-yr-old extinct hyena (Pachycrocuta brevirostris) coprolite from Northwest Pakistan. Journal of Parasitology, 103(1), 138-141. doi:10.1645/16-71.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-9494-E
Abstract
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-year-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.