Parasites wormed way into dino’s gut | Science News

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Parasites wormed way into dino’s gut

Tiny tunnels crisscross fossilized stomach contents of 77-million-year-old hadrosaur

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7:00am, June 28, 2016
Leonardo the duck-billed dino

MORE THAN BONES  A 77-million-year-old duck-billed dinosaur nicknamed Leonardo may have been infected with parasitic worms.

Inside the blackened guts of a 77-million-year-old dinosaur, scientists have spotted a surprise: the once slimy traces of parasitic worms.

Needlelike burrows snaking through the stomach of a duck-billed dino offer the first hard evidence that gut parasites infected dinosaurs, paleontologist Justin Tweet and colleagues report online June 16 in the Journal of Paleontology.

“Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re not,” says paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. “But they’re seeing something no one else has seen before, and that’s pretty awesome.”

Scientists had suspected that, like animals living today, dinosaurs probably hosted parasites and other microscopic organisms. “But that doesn’t mean that anybody ever expected to see them

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