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Why We Should Care About Parasites — and Their Extinction

A caterpillar carrying parasitic wasp eggs. John Flannery / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

Parasite. To most people, the very word is cause for fear or disgust—which is a shame, because most parasites don't actually harm their hosts. In fact their very existence is a sign of a healthy ecosystem, as I discussed on a recent segment of the Green Divas podcast. We also talked about the values some parasites provide, what we can learn from them, and what we lose when they go extinct.


Listen in, below:

For more, check out the articles mentioned in this interview:

When This Rat Went Extinct, So Did a Flea

Parasite Lost: Did Our Taste for Seafood Just Cause an Extinction?

John R. Platt is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. His "Extinction Countdown" column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species.

Reposted with permission from our media associate The Revelator.

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