Does the parasite make wolves braver? Some parasites can change the behavior of animals.
According to one Published study In communication biology, some wolves change their behavior after catching a parasite. It has to do with toxoplasmosis which is a very prevalent disease and also a lot ignored.
affects a global percentage of ppopulation between 30 and 50%. However, in most cases, it does not cause any symptoms. In practice, one can get infected without even knowing it. It is caused by the first organism which is a primitive microorganism consisting of only one cell, Toxoplsma gondii.
this is illness It affects not only humans but all other mammals as well. However, only in felines, are they able to reproduce at the moment. Apparently, this parasite also succeeded in infecting a group of wolves that subsequently took on different behaviors.
Association between toxoplasmosis and behaviour
Some studiesAs we read in Focus, we say that people with toxoplasmosis have changed their behaviour, becoming more willing to take risks in their life choices. The same seems to be true of wolves as well.
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So there will be a file Associated with the presence of toxoplasma And their behavior changes even if it is not clear whether the latter is the result of the former or vice versa. When the parasite infects an organism, it encloses itself in a protective sac and enters the animal’s body where it remains dormant for several years.
Various studies in the past have shown a link between the presence of these cysts and also change in the individual Affected, which becomes more aggressive and willing to take risks. However, other studies do not appear to have given the same results.
So a Team search To test the theory by observing wolves in Yellowstone Park infected with toxoplasmosis. This data was then compared with that of the puma, which is the most important vector of the parasite. The analyzes revealed that more wolves infected with toxoplasmosis enter the puma than healthy samples.
Moreover Frequency of giving up of the pack is higher in injured wolves. And patients are 46 times more likely to become leaders in the group. Thus, there is a real link between injury and brave and somewhat reckless behavior. The data can also be interpreted in another way, namely that the bravest specimens are the most susceptible.
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But others experiments On parasite results are similar, particularly in hyenas. These were more courageous in approaching the lions. Even some ferrets stop being afraid of cats when they are injured. If this parasite was indeed able to modify the behavior of its victims, it would be a great discovery.
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