Natural Resources, School of

 

Date of this Version

1-15-2008

Comments

Citation: Johnson KL, Reinhard KJ, Sianto L, Araújo A, Gardner SL, Janovy Jr. J (2008) A tick from a prehistoric Arizona coprolite. Journal of Parasitology 94: 296-298. Galley proofs. Used by permission.

Abstract

Ticks have never been reported in archaeological analyses. Here, we present the discovery of a tick from a coprolite excavated from Antelope Cave in extreme northwest Arizona. Dietary analysis indicates that the coprolite has a human origin. This archaeological occupation is associated with the Ancestral Pueblo culture (Anasazi). This discovery supports previous hypotheses that ticks were a potential source of disease and that ectoparasites were eaten by ancient people.