By Ben Dawes (Eds.)

ISBN-10: 0120317028

ISBN-13: 9780120317028

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There is little doubt that Australian rodents were rafted from Asia to that continent. This is probably true also of the South American rodents and cebid monkeys. Their parasitic faunas suggest an earlier arrival of the rodents than the monkeys which had obviously been in contact with Old World species before evolving in South America. These conclusions are admittedly hypothetical. Many more parasites have still to be described from animals in their natural state and native habitats. Much more has to be learned about the bionomics of both parasite and host.

They have, however, been isolated in South America and Australia during the Tertiary and in both, considerable diversification of types, including some quite large carnivores, have arisen. Most of these have survived in Australia but, except for a few opossum-likeforms, they gradually disappeared in South America. After the junction of North and South America, opossums invaded and became established in North America. Iv. THEDEVELOPMENT OF THE HOST-PARASITE RELATIONSHIP It can be accepted that parasites were originally free-living animals and that the ancestors of the modern parasites were able to encounter a biochemical and biophysical environment to which they could adapt relatively simply.

In this way, a more or less strict degree of host specificity resulted. Analysis of host-parasite associations accordingly shows that : 1. Animals with comparable food habits tend to have similar kinds of parasites. 2. Only some groups of parasites show a high degree of host specificity. Old-established hosts tend to have numerous species of parasites related to each other. 4. Related hosts tend to have related parasites. 5. The more highly specialized the host (in an evolutionary sense) the more specialized are its parasites and the more restricted its parasitic fauna.

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Advances in Parasitology by Ben Dawes (Eds.)


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