Evidence of intestinal parasites of dinosaurs
Protozoan cysts and helminth eggs preserved in a coprolite from the Early Cretaceous Bernissart Iguanodon shaft in Belgium demonstrate that representatives of 3 phyla parasitized dinosaurs by that period. These fossil parasite stages are described and their possible effect on dinosaurs discussed. These findings represent the earliest fossil records of protozoan and helminth parasites of terrestrial vertebrates.(Received January 31 2006)
(Revised February 22 2006)
(Accepted February 22 2006)
(Published Online April 20 2006)
Key Words: dinosaur coprolite; Entamoebites antiquus; Digenites proterus; Ascarites priscus; Ascarites gerus.
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