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plate tectonics

Marcogliese,David [Montreal] David.Marcogliese at EC.GC.CA
Mon Jul 21 10:35:40 EST 1997

Cliff  wrote:

Two items I hope that somebody can steer me towards. The first is a
history of the 
cadeusis. 'We' know it as Dracunculus medinensis wrapped on a staff, but
did Herodotus 
mention it in his 'History', are their biblical references to the
cadeusis or just the 
'fiery serpent,' how deep into Africa was its use as a symbol of a
'healer' found, is it 
still used in D. medinensis-indigenous regions, and why is Mercury
associated with the 
cadeusis. The second relates to techtonic plate movements and the theory
of continental 
drift. I understand this was first proposed by a parasitologist who
studied parasites of 
fresh-water fish in South America and Australia. Can anybody give me his
name or a 
reference of this work? I'm trying to gather interesting parasitological
topics for use 
in a potential PBS series for the ASP, along the lines of 'Cosmos,' but
for parasites. 
One part would cover parasites in history, so if anyone cares to offer
their favorite 
historical parasite topic, then I'd be much intrigued and thankful.


Ancient land connections between South America, New Guinea, Australia
etc. were proposed by von Jhering in 1891 using in part evidence from
the distribution of the parasite Temnocephala chilensis on AEglea
laevis, Parastacus and Ampullaria canaliculata, which are presumably
(but this is not clear from the text) freshwater fish. The reference is:

von Jhering, H., 1891. On the ancient relations between New Zealand and
South America. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute
24: 431-445.

You should also see the work by Metcalf, who reaches similar conclusions
looking at parasites of frogs. There are a series of papers:

Metcalf, M.M. 1920. Upon an important method of studying problems of
relationship and of geographic distribution. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.,
Wash. 6: 432-433.

Metcalf, M.M. 1921. Geographical distribution of the Anura and their
opalinid parasites. Anat. Rec. 20: 217

Metcalf, M.M. 1921. South America and its intercontinental land
connections as indicated by a study of the geographic distribution of
the anura and their opalinid parasites. Anat. Rec. 20: 221

Metcalf, M.M. 1923. The opalinid ciliate infusorians. Bull. US Nat. Nus.
No. 120.

Metcalf, M.M. 1923. The origin and distribution of the Anura. Amer. Nat.
57: 385-411.

Of course, after the actual theory of plate tectonics was published, it
was neglected for many years, only to be resurrected decades later.
among the supporters of it in the 50's was Harold Manter, who published
a number of papers of parasites of marine fishes in support of the
theory. You may wish to consult his work also. great bedtime reading!

Dave Marcogliese
David J. Marcogliese

Environment Canada
Centre Saint-Laurent
105 McGill Street, 7th Floor
Montreal, Quebec
H2Y 2E7 Canada

Tel: 514-283-6499
Fax: 514-496-7398

Email: david.marcogliese at ec.gc.ca

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