The 12 Parasites of Christmas
Susan Perkins at the American Museum of Natural History is almost done with a truly heroic feat: overseeing a blog that features a new parasite every day in 2010. To end that fantastic year she is closing with a parasite per verse of the Christmas carol “12 Days of Christmas”.
A cozy fire burning in the hearth, carols tinkling in the background, a glass of spiked eggnog in your bellies…what could be more romantic than finding yourself underneath a sprig of mistletoe hung in the archway with a sweetie, right? That is, if you don’t mind kissing under a parasite. Viscum album, the European mistletoe is a parasite of more than 200 different trees and shrubs. It is hemiparasitic in that it still possesses chlorophyll but relies on its host plant for both water and other nutrients.
H/T Carl Zimmer