• Question: Is it possible for parasites to gain intelligence. And if so is there a way to eliminate the threat?

    Asked by [kuhaku] to Arporn Koi on 11 Jul 2016.
    • Photo: Arporn Koi Wangwiwatsin

      Arporn Koi Wangwiwatsin answered on 11 Jul 2016:

      Hi kuhaku,

      If we talk about intelligence at human level (e.g. being creative and using tools), I would say it’s not possible because you need a certain part of the brain to do that and the development of brain in parasites don’t reach that level. Parasites can seem “intelligent” in their strategies of living – e.g. surviving in blood and mucosal surface where we have mechanisms to protect us from bugs and germs, or making one of their host more likely to get fed on so that they get passed on to the next host. (And I think that’s what make them really cool to study!). But those strategies came about through time and are products of random chance mutation and evolution rather than parasite deciding what to do 😉