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Behavioral Adaptations to Parasites: An Ethological Approach

Benjamin L. Hart
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 78, No. 2 (Apr., 1992), pp. 256-265
DOI: 10.2307/3283472
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3283472
Page Count: 10
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Behavioral Adaptations to Parasites: An Ethological Approach
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Abstract

Wild vertebrate animals must live in an environment with the ever present threat of internal and external parasites. This threat by macroparasites is responsible for the natural selection of an array of behavioral adaptations that, together with the immune system and other physiological forms of resistance, enable the animals to survive and reproduce in this environment. Several lines of research, some quite recent, illustrate that specific behavioral patterns can be effective in helping animals or their offspring avoid or control macroparasites that can affect adversely the animal's fitness. These behavioral patterns fall under the general strategies of avoidance behavior and mate selection.

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