Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures by Carl Zimmer

This book opened my eyes to microscopic world in our guts and in the bodies of animals in the world. We think that humans are oh so smart and know a lot about the world. We do know so much about the world but it often feels we know less about the parasites living in our bodies than we do about the planets out there in space.

The splits up the book into manageable chunks. Every chapter is self-contained and can be easily read in one sitting. Each chapter focuses on a specific parasite, or type of parasite. They are truly fascinating organisms that have very unique life cycles. It’s often difficult to recognize the different forms of the parasite depending on what host it is in.

He doesn’t only talk about negative parasites. Many parasites are in symbiosis with the host. In fact, in one chapter there was interesting research how poorer people had some more beneficial parasites in their intestines. It seems like parasites are something we need for life to be healthy on earth. They seem to be a sort of safety valve stop some species from becoming too numerous. It seems we are only scratching the surface on our understanding of most of these parasites.

This is a great book for traveling on the bus or subway. It is easy to jump into and written in a straight forward manner. He does not use intimidating scientist language. This book certainly stokes my interesting parasites and would like to read more about a few of these incredible organisms.

NOTE: Me taking so long to finish writing this review in no way speaks to the quality of this book. If you can believe it, the author actually has a tapeworm named after him. Hah!

Rating: ★★★★

Book #86 in my 2022 Reading Challenge

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