Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mice give ticks a free lunch

March 24, 2014

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Mice are effective at transferring disease-causing pathogens to feeding ticks. And, according to a new paper, these 'super hosts' appear indifferent to larval tick infestations. Drawing on 16 years of field research performed at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, the paper found that white-footed mice with hundreds of larval ticks survived just as long as those with only a few ticks. Even more surprising, male mice with large tick loads were more likely to survive during a given season.

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