Most people regard lice with disgust, but we are fascinated by fleas, even considering them to be "cute" – they are the panda bears of the flying zoo.
An enthusiastic zoological tribute to birds and the parasites that live in and on them is revealed in Michael Stock's exposé, The Flying Zoo. From the Crozet Archipelago and the Galapagos Islands to our backyards, parasites – fleas, lice, ticks, flukes – live in both sinister and symbiotic interdependency with host birds. Written with a scientist's exuberance of the beauty of pattern in nature, a co-evolutionary dance unfolds among an astounding cast of creatures living in a complex and paradoxical co-habitation. It is the contemporary follow-up to the classic Fleas, Flukes & Cuckoos. Students of biology, their instructors, and birders alike will want The Flying Zoo on their shelves, as will natural history readers looking for a new tale of tails.
Preface | IX
1 A World on a Bird | 1
2 Lice: It’s a Beautiful Life | 17
3 Fleas: The Circus in the Zoo | 45
4 Tough Ticks | 61
5 Mites: Little Things Mean a Lot | 75
6 Flying Zoo Flies | 99
7 The Worms that Ate the Bird | 119
8 Oddities in the Flying Zoo | 151
9 Flying Zoo Behaviour | 167
10 Environmental Impacts: The Future of the Flying Zoo | 193
Notes | 215
Further Reading | 235
Index | 239
Michael Stock is a specialist of parasitology and Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at MacEwan University in Edmonton.
"This gentle introduction to the fascinating world of avian symbionts will appeal to naturalists, bird enthusiasts, and early-career biologists."
– Heather Proctor, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
"Michael Stock's entertaining and informative book introduces readers to the biology of parasites that live in and on birds, to the host-parasite coevolutionary interactions between these groups, and the myriad of fascinating adaptations that have resulted from this co-evolution."
– Dale Clayton, Professor of Biology, University of Utah