Data from: The trophic vacuum and the evolution of complex life cycles in trophically-transmitted helminths

Daniel P. Benesh, James C. Chubb & Geoff A. Parker
Parasitic worms (helminths) frequently have complex life cycles in which they are transmitted trophically between two or more successive hosts. Sexual reproduction often takes place in high trophic-level (TL) vertebrates, where parasites can grow to large sizes with high fecundity. Direct infection of high TL hosts, while advantageous, may be unachievable for parasites constrained to transmit trophically, because helminth propagules are unlikely to be ingested by large predators. Lack of niche overlap between propagule and...
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