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Analysis and Comment (11)

Spot the difference. You might succeed but bird hosts fail. piper

Egg colours make cuckoos masters of disguise

Cuckoos are notorious cheats. Instead of building a nest, incubating their eggs and raising their chicks, they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and leave the task of raising their offspring to…
The bobtail squid and bioluminscent bacteria are just one of hundreds of examples of mutualism. Klaus Stiefel/Flickr

It takes two: how mutualisms evolve in a world of selfish genes

Reproduction for a female fig wasp can be a nightmarish process. When she is ready to lay her eggs, she leaves the fig in which she was born and became pregnant and searches for another. After she finds…
A parasite wants to live with you, and to do that it needs to convince your body’s immune system to ignore it. Sebastian Kaulitzki/Shutterstock

Bugs as treatment: coming to a clinic near you…

When you’re sick, you want the most effective treatment to help get you back on your feet. But what if that involved bugs? Maggots and leeches have been used for decades and are still supplied to hospitals…
Body-snatching crabs is not just for humans. Chesapeake Bay

The crab-castrating parasite that zombifies its prey

Meet Sacculina carcini – a barnacle that makes a living as a real-life body-snatcher of crabs. Unlike most barnacles that are happy to simply stick themselves to a rock and filter food from the water…
When microbes cause ants to become zombies. Tommy Leung

Meet the enemy of killer fungus that turns ants into zombies

One of most famous fungi in the world is the “zombie ant fungus”. It takes over the mind of an ant, causing it to climb up a branch and cling to the underside of a leaf before mummification. Once locked…
Mobile nursery for parasites. Paul Appleton

Manipulative parasites make hornets their nest

Hornets put fear into the minds of most, but there is a parasite that the hornets fear (if indeed they are capable of fear). Sphaerularia vespae is a parasitic nematode that infects the Japanese yellow…
Hairworm target. haquintero

The parasite a cricket’s nightmares are made of

The hairworm is a long, thread-like parasite that sits bundled up inside the body of its host. It grows so large that it takes up most of the room inside the host’s body, waiting for the right moment to…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (9)