Natural Resources, School of


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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.


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.