The National Geographic Store has a huge selection of pretty exciting educational gifts for kids!
The National Geographic Kids CookBook is a fun cookbook designed especially for the young, beginner chef.
One of my favorite finds in the National Geographic store is the Little Passports year subscription. Check out these exciting educational gifts and a lot more at the National Geographic Store!
Parasitic Barnacle Heterosaccus californicusSheep Crab Loxorhynchus grandisWelcome to a freakish world where parasites compel their hosts to do their bidding. Parasitic Wasp Dinocampus coccinellaeSpotted Lady Beetle Coleomegilla maculataLadybugs are said to bring good luck—but one infected by the wasp species Dinocampus coccinellae is decidedly unfortunate. Spined turban gall wasp Antron douglasiiValley oak Quercus lobataWhen the spined turban gall wasp injects its eggs into oak leaves, it leaves behind something extra: a cocktail of chemicals that induces the plant to build pink structures around the growing wasp larvae, called galls. Parasitic Flatworm Ribeiroia ondatraeAmerican Bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianusAfter the flatworm Ribeiroia ondatrae reproduces asexually inside a snail, its larvae find a bullfrog tadpole and burrow their way through its skin, forming cysts around the frog’s developing limbs. Ophiocordyceps Fungus Ophiocordyceps sp.Amazonian Ant Dinoponera longipesPity the ant afflicted by the mindsucker Ophiocordyceps. White Butterfly Wasp Cotesia glomerataCabbage Butterfly Pieris brassicaeLike the spotted ladybug, the caterpillar of the cabbage butterfly plays bodyguard to a parasitic puppet master. Nematode Myrmeconema neotropicumArboreal ants Cephalotes atratusBird droppings gathered by the arboreal ant Cephalotes atratus to feed its larvae sometimes contain a hidden menace: the parasitic nematode Myrmeconema neotropicum.
Parasitoid wasp Hymenoepimecis argyraphagaSpider Leucauge argyraThe spider Leucauge argyra suffers a series of humiliations at the hands of the parasitic wasp Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga before it is put out of its misery.
Libro National Geographic Kids Quiz Whiz: 1,000 Super Fun, Mind-Bending, Totally Awesome Trivia Questions di National Geographic Society (U.
Photographing a horsehair worm bursting from the body of a drowning cricket is as difficult as it sounds. Varma had been thinking of proposing a story on mind-control parasites to the magazine, but hadn’t fully fleshed out the idea when he met with now retired National Geographic photo editor Susan Welchman in October 2011.
When Welchman asked whether Varma had any projects he was thinking about, he mentioned parasites. JANE LEE: How do you not gross yourself out when photographing one organism crawling out of another one day after day? ANAND: I had heard about a few of these parasites while I was studying as a biology student. I scrapped that idea because even if you knew nothing about biology or how to ID insects or worms, it had to be clear that there were two creatures in the photograph and that there was something weird going on.

The day before I went to New Mexico to photograph [crickets infected with horsehair worms], I went to a comic book store and looked at the covers.
The video evolved to give an overview about how the parasite and host interacted, the worms come out, the larvae is spinning a cocoon. Sam Cossman left his tech job in San Francisco to take a leap into the unknown as a full-time explorer. The age recommendation on the book says ages 8-12, but my 7 year old loves it and I’m fascinated by it as well! Animal stories features a beautiful collection of 19 heartwarming and true animal stories from around the world. We’ve had Christmas gifts from there the past 2 years and I love to see what they come out with. Larvae of the parasite infiltrate the cricket when it scavenges dead insects, then grow inside it.
When the larva matures, the amphipod abandons its safe dark home and swims toward the light of the surface. With legs added, subtracted, or compromised, the ungainly victim is easy prey for frog-eating birds like herons.
When spores of the fungus land on an ant, they penetrate its exoskeleton and enter its brain, compelling the host to leave its normal habitat on the forest floor and scale a nearby tree. Once inside the ant, the nematode turns its host’s abdomen maroon, so that it mimics a ripe berry attractive to birds. Paralyzed by the wasp’s sting, the spider stands helpless as its tormentor deposits an egg on its abdomen.
But it was a challenge that Anand Varma threw himself into for his first National Geographic story.
These barnacles, fungi, and flatworms invade their host’s brain in order to control their behaviors and to advance to the next stage in the parasitic life cycle. Unbeknownst to him, writer Carl Zimmer had proposed a similar story several months prior, and they didn’t have a photographer yet. Read on to see how Varma caught these zombie-makers in the act and how trying to stay awake late into the night led to an almost noir time-lapse video. They were among many other natural history stories that I thought were generally interesting, but I hadn’t thought much beyond that until one of my classmates went to graduate school to study parasitology.
The background of the image is key to communicating where the action is, where the drama is. Since my editor didn’t have time to look through all my pictures, I was trying to edit [the images] down.

To learn about what I would have thought of as a blob of goo outwitting another species far more complex—it just sort of points to how complex and interesting the world really is. Varma will be talking about getting up close and personal with tiny creatures for the Macro Assignment currently running in Your Shot, our online photography community. To make its unwitting host even more enticing, the nematode induces the ant to walk with its abdomen raised: Come and eat me! Once the egg hatches, the larva holds tight to the spider like some malignant piggybacker, feeding on its internal fluids for a week. It stops developing fighting claws, and its abdomen widens, providing a “womb” for the barnacle to fill with its brood pouch. It was late at night, I was scrolling through images and listening to this dubstep music just to keep myself awake, and that’s where I got this idea.
We look for work that affirms National Geographic's mission of inspiring people to care about the planet. So when the mature worm is ready to emerge, it alters the brain of its host, driving the cricket to abandon the safety of land and take a suicidal leap into the nearest body of water. Its eggs reenter the water when the bird defecates, infecting new snails to start another round.
Fungal stalks burst from the ant’s husk and rain spores onto ants below to begin the process again. When ready to pupate, the larva coerces the spider into setting out on one last, misguided building project. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of the National Geographic Society.Know of a great short film that should be part of our Showcase?
Though its body is now free of the tormentor, the bug remains enslaved, standing over the cocoon and protecting it from potential predators. Ripping down its own carefully constructed web, the spider spins a novel one consisting of just a few thick crossing strands.
Rather than leave them to fend for themselves, their enslaved host spins an extra silk layer around the cocoons, then stands guard over the brood, flinging its head back and forth to ward off predators. Then it spins its cocoon at the intersection of the two strands, where it can dangle safely out of reach of predators.

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