Parasites: The Inside Story looks at the weird and wonderful world of parasites, the most abundant form of life on Earth. Parasites come in all forms and sizes and inhabit every free-living organism. Parasitism is now, and always has been, a way to survive under changing environmental conditions. From arctic oceans to tropical forests, Scott Gardner, Judy Diamond, and Gabor Rácz, investigate how parasites survive and evolve, and how they influence and provide stability to ecosystems.
Taking readers to the open ranges of Mongolia, the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska, the Andes of Bolivia, and more, the authors examine the impact parasites have on humans and other animals. Using examples of parasites from throughout the tree of life, the authors describe parasite-host relationships as diverse as those between trematodes and snails and tapeworms and whales. They even consider the strange effects of thorny-headed worms on their hosts. Parasites offer clues to the evolutionary history of particular regions, and they can provide insights into the history of species interactions. Through parasites, biologists can weave together a global knowledge of the past to predict the challenges that we all face in the future.
Illustrating that parasites are so much more than creepy-crawlies, Parasites: The Inside Story gives up-to-date context for these critical members of the biological diversity of our planet.
Scott L. Gardner is the curator of parasites in the H. W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Nebraska State Museum and professor of biological sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Judy Diamond is a professor and curator at the University of Nebraska State Museum and professor of libraries at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Her books include Kea, Bird of Paradox; Concealing Coloration in Animals; and Thinking like a Parrot. Gabor Rácz is a parasitologist and collection manager at the H. W. Manter Laboratory of the University of Nebraska State Museum. Brenda Lee is a graphic artist with degrees in graphic design from the University of Nebraska and illustration design from The One Academy in Penang, Malaysia.
"Parasites contains excellent illustrations, sound scholarship, and fine writing."
– Dwight Douglas Bowman, Cornell University