Even after thousands of years of lying around, nonsense can tell quite a story. Reporting this week in Parasitology, a team of archeologists screening a button for a cougar poo has extracted a 17,000-year DNA sample from Toxascaris leonina, a circular worm, which is still a 19659, In addition to providing humanity with its earliest example of parasite DNA so far, decimated duos raise some questions about the disease ecology of these large calf cats. In the present day Toxascaris is a mere tenant of the gut of domestic cats and dogs that can transmit the worm to their wilder cousins. But the study's findings suggest that prehistoric cougars must have had some other way of taking the parasite: The Pope's temporary marking predates the region's earliest known human settlements, presumably clearing the culprits of their people and their pets.
The team behind the discovery first encountered fossil feces in rock shelters in the Argentine province of Catamarca, nearly 1
"I was very happy to find how old this DNA was," said study author Romina Petri of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research in Argentina. "It is difficult to recover DNA at such an age, as it usually undergoes damage over time." Petri attributes the pristine preservation of the sample to cool, dry climates and salty soils in the region, which quickly dehydrate poo and its precious genetic burden and minimizing their
Initial analysis of the size and shape of a turtle hints that it was produced by a large animal from the cat or dog family – a theory the team manages to confirm after extracting the mitochondrial DNA of the fake the lei. Genetic evidence points to a cougar ( Puma concolor ), a creature that still roams the region to this day.
Also embedded in the navel were 64 small parasite eggs that also contained read mitochondrial DNA, identifying them as reproductive units of Toxascaris. According to Petri, this is a lot of eggs – enough to underline how successful this roundworm was, even millennia in the past.
It is not clear how the cougar infested its infection, but it may have been through one of two routes: when the kitten digs an infected rodent or swallows egg fertilizer loaded with eggs. However, if it were the latter, it is very unlikely that the creature producing the damn is a domesticated human companion. The oldest known human habitat in Argentina is only 11,000 years old (though, in particular, Monte Verde in nearby Chile may have been inhabited 18,500 years ago and the timeline of human migration in America is continuous is changing)  urn_cambridge.org_id_binary_20190816145947610-0789_S0031182019000787_S0031182019000787_fig2g.jpg "class =" jsx-1703612813 "/> Toxascaris egg, cougar stones (right, recessed stones in the column on the right, right, in the drum mill (right, in the drum mill) Credit: Petrigh et al., Parasitology, 2019
Toxascaris egg, cougar stones (right, recessed stones in the column on the right, right, in the drum mill (right, in the drum mill) Credit: Petrigh et al., Parasitology, 2019
Even if humans were close to these cougars 17,000 years ago, and cats are foggy, and at least in America, they probably delay postponing it.
However, the time capsule contained in this turtle remains "remarkable," says Pierce Mitchell, a parasitologist at Cambridge University who did not attend the study, told Nicolas Davis of The Guardian . The study is a testament to the concept that certain environments are capable of retaining stool, as well as evidence of infectious pathogens for many thousands of years, he said. "This will make it easier to outline how different types of parasites develop over time."