parasite

A mind-altering parasite could make wolves bolder

A mind-altering parasite could make wolves bolder

Image: Shutterstock (Shutterstock) The mind-altering effects of a well-known parasite may extend to more species than we thought. In new research this month, Yellowstone scientists argue that Toxoplasma gondii infection may influence the behavior of gray wolves in the area. This seems to increase their chances of risky behaviors, such as leaving their pack or …

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Wolves infected with a common parasite may be much more likely to become pack leaders

Wolves infected with a common parasite may be much more likely to become pack leaders

Diagram of the results of the demographic and behavioral analysis. Shown at the top are three sample packs with different cougar overlap categories and their corresponding predicted probabilities of T. gondii infection (seronegative in black; seropositive in red) based on the best-fit demographic model. Wolves filled with red indicate the expected percentage of infected wolves …

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Parasite makes wolves more likely to become pack leaders

Toxoplasma gondii is sometimes called the “mind control” parasite: it can infect the brains of animals and disrupt their behavior in ways that kill the host, but ensure the spread of the parasite. But now researchers have found that infected wolves can actually benefit from these mind-altering tricks. A Toxoplasma Infection, they found, makes wolves …

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Gray wolves infected with this parasite are more likely to become pack leaders, scientists say

Researchers studying gray wolf populations in Yellowstone National Park have discovered an intriguing reason why some wolves may be more inclined to become pack leaders. According to a study published Thursday in Communications Biology, gray wolves exposed to Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, are more than 46 times more likely to become a …

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