from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of ectoparasite.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Although the term ectoparasites can broadly include blood-sucking arthropods such as mosquitoes (because they are dependent on a blood meal from a human host for their survival), this term is generally used more narrowly to refer to organisms such as ticks, fleas, lice, and mites that attach or burrow into the skin and remain there for relatively long periods of time (e.g., weeks to months).


  • Dispatching certain ectoparasites – notably fleas and feather lice – isn’t easy because the tough, flattened bodies of these arthropods are really good at resisting pressure.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • In particular we’re going to look at how birds have evolved to cope with certain ectoparasites.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • In Dinosaurs of the Air Greg Paul illustrated a Sinosauropteryx scratching in order to remove ectoparasites, and the cover of The Dinosauria, Second Edition (the current industry-standard volume on dinosaurs) features a Sinosauropteryx (this time by Mark Hallett) nibbling at its proto-feathers, again presumably as a form of ectoparasite control.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • Terrestrial birds whose plumage is superficially similar to that of fuzzy small theropods are notorious for harbouring ectoparasites, with kiwis in particular being reported to crawl with numerous fleas, ticks, feather mites and lice (Kleinpaste 1991).

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • So I would be confident that Mesozoic birds, and fuzzy and feathered non-avian theropods, had to contend with ectoparasites.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • So did they also have to contend with ectoparasites?

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • Though there are bird species with specialized pedal claws that function in preening (namely herons, pratincoles and nightjars), birds rely on their bills when cleaning their feathers and removing ectoparasites.

    The war on parasites: a pigeon’s eye view

  • We also know that ectoparasites were infesting feathers by the Cretaceous at least.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • Well, maybe not, as birds can also use sunning, dust-bathing and other behaviours to control ectoparasites.

    Archive 2006-07-01


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