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Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures
Carl Zimmer
 
Imagine a world where parasites control the minds of their hosts, sending them to their destruction.
 
Imagine a world where parasites are masters of chemical warfare and camouflage, able to cloak themselves with their hosts' own molecules.
 
Imagine a world where parasites steer the course of evolution, where the majority of species are parasites.
 
Welcome to planet earth.
 
Parasites are among the world's most successful and sophisticated organisms. They can transform the insides of other creatures into hospitable homes. They can evade the onslaught of the immune system and even make it serve them. They can even control the minds of their hosts and force them to do their bidding. And thanks to these skills, parasites may make up the majority of all species.
 
Parasite Rex offers a guided tour to the hidden, fascinating world of parasites, from protozoans that turn rats into suicidal kamikazes to wasps that turn their own DNA into viruses to help them parasitize catepillars. It follows scientists who are beginning to appreciate how parasites can control the fate of entire ecosystems and even steer the course of evolution.
 
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