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Parasites and the Behavior of Animals
     

Parasites and the Behavior of Animals

by Janice Moore
 

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When a parasite invades an ant, does the ant behave like other ants? Maybe not-and if it doesn't, who, if anyone, benefits from the altered behaviors? The parasite? The ant? Parasites and the Behavior of Animals shows that parasite-induced behavioral alterations are more common than we might realize, and it places these alterations in an evolutionary and ecological

Overview

When a parasite invades an ant, does the ant behave like other ants? Maybe not-and if it doesn't, who, if anyone, benefits from the altered behaviors? The parasite? The ant? Parasites and the Behavior of Animals shows that parasite-induced behavioral alterations are more common than we might realize, and it places these alterations in an evolutionary and ecological context. Emphasizing eukaryotic parasites, the book examines the adaptive nature of behavioral changes associated with parasitism, exploring the effects of these changes on parasite transmission, parasite avoidance, and the fitness of both host and parasite.
The behavioral changes and their effects are not always straightforward. To the extent that virulence, for instance, is linked to parasite transmission, the evolutionary interests of parasite and host will diverge, and the current winner of the contest to maximize reproductive rates may not be clear, or, for that matter, inevitable. Nonetheless, by affecting susceptibility, host/parasite lifespan and fecundity, and transmission itself, host behavior influences parameters that are basic to our comprehension of how parasites invade host populations, and fundamentally, how parasites evolve. Such an understanding is important for a wide range of scientists, from ecologists and parasitologists to evolutionary, conservation and behavioral biologists: The behavioral alterations that parasites induce can subtly and profoundly affect the distribution and abundance of animals.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Her book is a gripping account of the sometimes spectacular behavioural (and morphological) alterations caused by parasites. ... Moore's writing is witty and conveys the flavour of her deep interest in beasts that most people like to avoid. ... the book is a pleasant read (even though some examples can send chills up your spine), a highly stimulating survey of the field, and certainly a reference for years to come. Everyone with a general interest in biology who can still be amazed by the awesome power of natural selection should look at this book."—Nature

A grasshopper, says Moore (biology, Colorado State U.), is not always truly a grasshopper, nor an ant an ant. After briefly reviewing the lives that parasites live, she explores the idea that there are behavioral as well as physiological components to transmission, susceptibility, survival, and recovery. She focuses on the eukaryotic endoparasites helminths and protista. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195146530
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/28/2002
Series:
Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
338
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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