Scientists Take Up Plight of Parasites

Correction June 9, 2005

This report incorrectly referred to long-toed salamanders as lizards. They are amphibians.

a parasite from the head feathers of a Galapagos hawk

hide captionCraspedorrhynchus, a parasite from the head feathers of a Galapagos hawk. Researchers at the University of Missouri St. Louis studied parasites on the hawks to figure out when the birds colonized each of nine different islands in the Galapagos.

Image courtesy Noah Whiteman and Dr. Patty Parker

Two scientists from the University of Missouri St. Louis are making the case to save endangered parasites. The scientists say lice and their comrades can reveal much about their host species but are rapidly going extinct. But don't expect lawmakers to make additions to the Endangered Species List anytime soon.

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