Parasites are more impressively manipulative than even the most imaginitive science fiction writer could dream up. For example: "This caterpillar is a head-banging, zombie-bodyguard defending the offspring of the creature that killed it." Yes, a parasite did that to a caterpillar. This and other science craziness in this incredible TED talk by science writer Ed Yong.

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.