Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version



Published in the Journal of Parasitology (October 1992) 78(5): 811-816. Copyright 1992, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


Of 7 dissected dung balls of the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Edentata) from Rampart Cave, Arizona, 4 (57%) were found to contain nematode juveniles, helminth eggs, and/or coccidian oocysts. One dung ball was radiocarbon dated at 10,500 ± 180 yr, about the time of ground sloth extinction. It is supposed that the parasites also are extinct. Agamofilaria oxyura n. sp. is proposed for first-stage juveniles of an oxyurid. These juveniles measured 13-20 x 126-198 (16.8 x 159) μm. Strongyloides shastensis n. sp. is reported as first-stage juveniles, some of which clearly are molting. These juvenile worms were 23-27 x 270-345 (24.4 x 305.3) μm. Operculated schistosome-like eggs, each with an abopercular point, were 33-50 x 63-90 (43.0 x 81.9) μm. A second type of object that resembled a helminth egg had a thick wall and was 11-14 x 13-18 (13.5 x 15.5) μm. A new collective genus, Archeococcidia, is proposed to include 2 new fossil oocysts. Archeococcidia antiquus n. sp. was the most abundant form found. Its unsporulated oocysts were 19-21 x 21-23 (19.6 x 22.1) μm, and its outer wall bore punctations. Unsporulated oocysts of Archeococcidia nothrotheriopsae n. sp. were spheroidal, 31-35 (33.8) μm wide, and had a smooth outer surface

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