Tapeworm eggs found in 270-mn-yr-old fossilized shark feces
Washington: Fossilized tapeworm eggs discovered in 270-million-year-old shark feces suggest that intestinal parasites in vertebrates are much older than previously known, according to researchers.
Remains of such parasites in vertebrates from this era are rare - of 500 samples examined, only one revealed the tapeworm eggs.
This particular discovery helps establish a timeline for the evolution of present-day parasitic tapeworms that occur in foods like pork, fish and beef.
The study was carried out by Paula Dentzien-Dias and colleagues from the Federal University of Rio Grande, Brazil.
The fossilized eggs were found in a cluster very similar to those laid by modern tapeworms. Some of them are un-hatched and one contains what appears to be a developing larva.
"This discovery shows that the fossil record of vertebrate intestinal parasites is much older than was previously known and occurred at least 270-300 million years ago," according to the study.
The fossil described in this study is from Middle-Late Permian times, a period followed by the largest mass extinction known, when nearly 90 percent of marine species and 70 percent of terrestrial species died out.
The research has been published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
More from Health
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi addressing rally in Imphal
- Will Shiv Sena join hands with Congress to stop BJP from entering BMC?
- Why is Akhilesh Yadav encouraging dishonesty for votes?
- China 'threatened' by ISRO's record-setting achievement?
- Report: Are mobile smartphones more unhygienic than toilet seats?
- Virender Sehwag's reply to Kargil martyr's daughter has taken the Internet by storm
- Ind vs Aus: Mohammed Azharuddin says Jayant Yadav and Ishant Sharma should be replaced in next Test
- WATCH: Kieron Pollard's epic celebration after destroying Lahore Qalandars in Dubai
- Indian doctor rescued from ISIS recounts horror, says 'they forced me to watch videos, shot me thrice'
- Mitchell Johnson takes a dig at Anil Kumble over calling Steve O'Keefe 'steady'