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Slimy and smelly

June 1, 2022

StRochEvery nerd should enjoy this uplifting story of a young woman who turns from the overdone dream of marine biology to the fascinating and less explored field of parasitology, where she finds success and discovers new knowledge. It is chock full of worms, dissection, old museum collections, interspecies relationships, and teasing out relationships in ecosystems. My heart quickens just typing that list.

In contrast, it’s hard to get excited about Canadian geese. Read that article anyway: it explains how many animals do particularly well adjacent to human populations. Sometimes to our pleasure, sometimes to our dismay, sometimes both. Synanthropes aren’t quite parasites. Many species make use of one another in subtle ways. As I previously noted, herons like to nest over alligator holes. An interesting question is how animals travel, or not, on the axis from synanthropes to domesticated. Canadian geese are too mean for that. Other geese were better.

Shown right is a medieval painting of St. Roch, who allegedly cured people from the plague, while himself suffering guinea worms.

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