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Parasite Rex : Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures - Carl Zimmer

Parasite Rex

Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures


Published: 10th October 2001
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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.


For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and in the darkest shadows of science. Yet these creatures are among the world's most successful and sophisticated organisms. In "Parasite Rex, " Carl Zimmer deftly balances the scientific and the disgusting as he takes readers on a fantastic voyage. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the fetid parasite haven of southern Sudan, Zimmer graphically brings to life how parasites can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead.

This thorough, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe.

Susan Adams Forbes Zimmer is such an accomplished, vivid writer that he is able to weave these revolting beasts into an engrossing story that you will read to the last page.

Prologue: A Vein Is a River: First sightings of the inner worldp. ix
Nature's Criminals: How parasites came to be hated by just about everyonep. 1
Terra Incognita: Swimming through the heart, fighting to the death inside a caterpillar, and other parasitic adventuresp. 23
The Thirty Years' War: How parasites provoke, manipulate, and get intimate with our immune systemp. 55
A Precise Horror: How parasites turn their hosts into castrated slaves, drink blood, and manage to change the balance of naturep. 79
The Great Step Inward: Four billion years in the reign of Parasite Rexp. 118
Evolution from Within: The peacock's tail, the origin of species, and other battles against the rules of evolutionp. 157
The Two-Legged Host: How Homo sapiens grew up with creatures insidep. 190
How to Live in a Parasitic World: A sick planet, and how the most newly arrived parasite can be part of a curep. 216
Glossaryp. 247
Notesp. 251
Further Reading and Selected Bibliographyp. 265
Acknowledgmentsp. 287
Indexp. 289
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780743200110
ISBN-10: 074320011X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 10th October 2001
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.3 x 14.0  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.31
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: New edition