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Are parasites like Toxoplasma subtly altering human behavior? As it turns out, science fiction writers have been thinking about whether or not parasites could alter a human being's behavior, or even take control of a person
Still not sure that parasites can manipulate the behavior of host organisms? Consider these other cases:
* The lancet fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum forces its ant host to attach to the tips of grass blades, the easier to be eaten. The fluke needs to get into the gut of a grazing animal to complete its life cycle.
* The fluke Euhaplorchis californiensis causes fish to shimmy and jump so wading birds will grab them and eat them, for the same reason.
* Hairworms, which live inside grasshoppers, sabotage the grasshopper's central nervous system, forcing them to jump into pools of water, drowning themselves. Hairworms then swim away from their hapless hosts to continue their life cycle.