Trace Fossil Evidence of Trematode-Bivalve Parasite-Host Interactions in Deep Time.

Huntley JW, de Baets K (2015)

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2015


Publisher: Academic Press Inc Ltd

Book Volume: 90

Pages Range: 201-31

DOI: 10.1016/bs.apar.2015.05.004


Parasitism is one of the most pervasive phenomena amongst modern eukaryotic life and yet, relative to other biotic interactions, almost nothing is known about its history in deep time. Digenean trematodes (Platyhelminthes) are complex life cycle parasites, which have practically no body fossil record, but induce the growth of characteristic malformations in the shells of their bivalve hosts. These malformations are readily preserved in the fossil record, but, until recently, have largely been overlooked by students of the fossil record. In this review, we present the various malformations induced by trematodes in bivalves, evaluate their distribution through deep time in the phylogenetic and ecological contexts of their bivalve hosts and explore how various taphonomic processes have likely biased our understanding of trematodes in deep time. Trematodes are known to negatively affect their bivalve hosts in a number of ways including castration, modifying growth rates, causing immobilization and, in some cases, altering host behaviour making the host more susceptible to their own predators. Digeneans are expected to be significant agents of natural selection. To that end, we discuss how bivalves may have adapted to their parasites via heterochrony and suggest a practical methodology for testing such hypotheses in deep time.

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Huntley, J.W., & de Baets, K. (2015). Trace Fossil Evidence of Trematode-Bivalve Parasite-Host Interactions in Deep Time. Advances in Parasitology, 90, 201-31.


Huntley, John Warren, and Kenneth de Baets. "Trace Fossil Evidence of Trematode-Bivalve Parasite-Host Interactions in Deep Time." Advances in Parasitology 90 (2015): 201-31.

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