Behavioral adaptations to parasites: An ethological approach

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88 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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