A tick from a prehistoric Arizona coprolite

Keith L. Johnson, Karl J. Reinhard, Luciana Sianto, Adauto Araújo, Scott L. Gardner, John Janovy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-298
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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