Friday, February 03, 2006

Horror, prime mathematician, great novelist

The larva grows inside the roach, devouring the organs of its host, for about eight days. It is then ready to weave itself a cocoon--which it makes within the roach as well. After four more weeks, the wasp grows to an adult. It breaks out of its cocoon, and out of the roach as well. Seeing a full-grown wasp crawl out of a roach suddenly makes those Alien movies look pretty derivative.

From this really, really great story by Carl Zimmer about an interesting species belonging to a class of "free-living organisms [that] have become parasites, adapting to hosts with exquisite precision."

Link via Guru, a friend with an amazing range of interests. For example, he points us (in other posts) to a poem about a "mathematician who slept with his wife only on prime-numbered days", and to an interview with Harper Lee.