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← Brainwashed by a parasite

mandydax's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by mandydax

A similar thing happens with Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite can only carry out its reproductive stage in the guts of felines, and it's been found that rats and mice infected with T. gondii are less afraid of cats and in some cases seek them out, increasing the chances that they will be eaten and thus transmit the parasite to a cat. Extended phenotypes are simply fascinating. I haven't read Richard's book by that title, but he makes reference to it in The Blind Watchmaker:

Replicators that happen to have what it takes to get replicated would come to predominate in the world, no matter how long and indirect the chain of causal links by which they influence their probability of being replicated.

Tue, 05 Aug 2008 16:29:00 UTC | #213159