News Round-Up

A 515 million-year-old freeloader: this nutrient-stealing marine worm is the oldest known parasite


The COVID-19 outbreak has put into stark relief the disruption parasites can cause, both in human society and ecosystems.

Researchers have long sought to better understand the evolutionary importance of parasites, to help lessen their impact.

Although parasites are common in modern ecosystems, we actually know little about parasitism in the distant past. And when parasites first evolved remains a mystery.

But our research, published in Nature Communications, brings us one step closer to an answer, as we document the oldest known example of a parasite-host relationship. MORE