TPW Magazine–Invasion of the Body Snatchers

This is Passport to Texas

If you don’t believe zombies are real, then read Nathan Adams’ article in the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine; it’s sure to change your mind.

Adams writes: Texas is home to three known “zombie parasites,” creatures that attack and infect their animal hosts. But these zombies don’t want to eat brains — at least not at first. They want to control them.

These parasites have figured out how to bypass the immune system and interface directly with the host brain. They manage to get the host to do things that are bad for the host, but good for the parasite.

The parasites aren’t the zombies – they are zombie-makers. Read about the bizarre tale of the crypt-keeper wasp, which is the parasite of the gall wasp—which is a parasite of oak trees. It’ll blow your mind—like it does the gall wasp.

There’s also a fluke worm that lives its life using three different hosts: a snail, a fish and a bird. How it does that will leave you slack jawed.

Finally Nathan Adams writes about the phorid fly—which actually isn’t so bad. It parasitizes fire ants, causing them to lose all perspective and purpose. Which is good news for native ant species.

Find all the ghoulish details in Nathan Adams’ article Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in the October issue of Texas parks and Wildlife magazine. On Newsstands now.

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For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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