Examines real-life accounts of zombies in nature, including a fly-enslaving fungus, a suicide worm, and a cockroach-taming wasp, and related topics.
Prologue: Are They Real? -- A Fungus among Us -- The Worms Crawl In, the Worms Crawl Out -- Can We Eat the Babysitter? -- Going Viral -- Try Me, You'll Like Me -- Epilogue: How Do Zombie Makers Do What They Do? -- Fun Stuff to Explore -- Glossary
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What do you think of when you think of zombies? Do you think of lurching undead ready to feast on your braaaaaains? Or do you think of something a little more insidious like the REASON those zombies don’t seem to have a lot of will of their own? As it happens, zombies are real. Not in the corpse-walker sense, necessarily, but in nature there are plenty of creatures willing to make others into their mindless slaves. Meet the hairworm Paragordius Triscuspidatus, which can convince a perfectly healthy cricket to drown itself. Or Toxoplasma Gondii which, aside from being the reason you’re not supposed to let pregnant women near cat poop, turns rats into suicidal kitty lovers. Page by page author Rebecca Johnson presents us with examples of evolution gone amuck. Zombie makers exist, it’s true, and as their hosts we’d better learn as much as we can about them before they get to us next!
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