Wild Things: Feathered dinosaurs, king crabs and spotted hyenas

Traveling snails, brainwashed rats and more updates from the world of wildlife

(Craig R. Smith)

Brainwashed Rats

(© DK Limited / Corbis)
To reproduce, the parasite Toxoplasma gondii needs to get from a rat into a cat. It’s known that infected rats don’t fear the scent of cat urine. New research led by Stanford University adds to the bizarre tale: When infected male rats smell cats, the brain region that responds to female rats is activated. That is: The rats are attracted to cats.

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