Parasite Rex is about parasites and the history of parasitology. Nature is pretty gross. That's about the only way I can think of o describe this book.
Let me tell you, there are some crazy creatures out there. I'm going to gloss over the hundreds of thousands of species of tapeworms and parasitic wasps and go to the really crazy ones. Like Cymothoa exigua
, a crustacean that replaces a fish's tongue, or Sacculina
, a barnacle-like parasite that uses a crab like a puppet. And that's just the tip of the disgusting iceberg.
Did you know parasites influence the behavior of their hosts in any number of ways? Like putting heir host in danger in order to perpetuate their life cycle? Crazy stuff.
It's not all great, though. It could have used more pictures and the writing stye could be a little more accessible. Still, it's an informative read and made me wonder why we aren't all riddled with parasites.