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Whacky parasite life cycles - your nominations please!

daj (David Johnston) daj at nhm.ac.uk
Fri Jul 1 02:24:09 EST 1994

Hi all,

as part of our Museum's programme of public events involving its 
scientists, I have been voluntered to give a talk "about parasites"! 
Although I work on Schisto, the only time I see one when I take it out of a 
cryotube and stick it in proteinase K solution to get the DNA out. Hence 
this appeal to those of you with a broader background.

Under the title "Against the Odds", I want to do 2 things, (1) to get 
across the concept of life cycles, (2) to try to convince my audience that, 
even if they can't get to love parasites like we do, they ought, at least, 
to respect them for the wonderful adaptations they have evolved to maximise 
reproductive success/continuation of the life cycle. I am, therefore 
looking for nominations for your favourite wierd, wonderful and whacky 
adaptations and life cycles to illustrate my talk with; phenomenal 
reproductive output, alteration of host behaviour, parasites of parasites. 
You name it, I would be grateful to hear about it (with follow-up 
references if possible).

Thanks in advance, I'll be happy to summarise responses

David A. Johnston
Dept of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road,
South Kensington, London SW7 5DB. England
(tel 071 9389297, fax 071 9388754, email daj at nhm.ac.uk)

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