The Oatmeal – Parasite Zombies

Are you getting tired of parasite zombie posts yet?  I hope not, because I’ve got a lot more where these have come from!  Starting with this really awesome (I mean, REALLY AWESOME) cartoon by The Oatmeal.   

Dicrocoelium dendriticumthe lancet liver fluke, is a parasite of livestock (e.g., cows, sheep).  Of course, Parasite of the Day has written about this awesome parasite before.  I highly recommend popping over there for more details.  And of course, check out the full cartoon from The Oatmeal!

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A taste of The Oatmeal‘s brilliant cartoon about the lancet fluke.

Hippo Arse Leech, Revisted

I mentioned going to the ASP conference last summer in my previous blog post about zombie ants.  I learned some really neat stuff while I was there!  For instance, I saw a talk by Mark Siddall, who is the leech expert.  If you want to know a lot of things about leeches, check out his Q&A session from PBS.

Now, something that you really need to know about leeches is that one leech is a hippo anus specialist.  That leech is Placobdelloides jaegerskioeldiParasite of the Day has blogged about this before, so I’ll keep my description brief.  The leech is a hippo blood specialist, and the only place to get easy access to hippo blood is to feed through the tissue in the anus.  (I remember Mark making a joke about how we now know why hippos are so grumpy all the time.)  I really enjoyed this video of Mark Siddall talking about the quest to find the hippo ass leech, and I think you should check it out.

Also, here’s a cartoon!

It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.