02 June 2015

Tuesday Crustie: Ecto

Sadly, the real story here is not the fossil crustacean, though the preservation on the 425 million year old specimen in exquisite. The real story are the orange bits in the image. Those are tongue worms, arthropod parasites. And these are the oldest parasites found in association with its host.

Even cooler is that these parasites are found on the outside of the ostracod. Modern tongue worms don’t do that: they live inside the host.


Siveter David J, Briggs Derek EG, Siveter Derek J, Sutton Mark D. A 425-million-year-old Silurian pentastomid parasitic on ostracods. Current Biology: in press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.04.035

External links

425-Million-Year Old Parasite Found With Its Host
Fossil of 425-million-year-old parasite with host discovered in England

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