Behavioral Manipulation by a Parasite

I almost drank one of these things once (accidentally):

Comments

  1. #1 Puskala
    November 27, 2007

    I’d stay away from the Washington Ave. bridge until I was sure… Fascinating and very creepy at the same time. I could see where this would really change the way we think about malaria vectors.

  2. #2 Monado
    November 27, 2007

    How do you know you nearly swallowed one?

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    November 27, 2007

    It was in the cup of water I was drinking.

  4. #4 Christopher
    November 28, 2007

    Daniel Dennett often uses a similar example in talks he gives; a parasite (can’t remember the name right now) that causes ants to climb to the top of blades of grass or other plants that make them more likely to end up in the stomach of a sheep /cow or other ruminant where the parasite then reproduces.

  5. #5 tenspeed
    November 28, 2007

    finally! an airtight excuse that can explain away nearly any lapse in judgement that i might be called out on.

  6. #6 chammy
    October 20, 2008

    woah! that was a close one. i know of a parasite Microphalllus which controls the behavior of its snail host Potamopyrgus antipodarumand another, Blatillaria i guess which manipulates the behavior of another snail. articles are at http://scipdf.blogspot.com