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Tapeworms from Vertebrate Bowels of the Earth, appreciated

Though tapeworms tend to live sequestered lives, those lives can be—and now have been—contemplated panoramically.

Planetary Biodiversity Inventory (2008-2017): Tapeworms from Vertebrate Bowels of the Earth, compiles info about tapeworms from the bowels of many vertebrates. The book is a collaboration of Janine N. Caira [pictured here] and Kirsten Jensen, published in 2017 [University of Kansas, Natural History Museum, Special Publication No. 25].

Sarah Kaplan compiled an appreciation of Caira and Jenson and their compilation, in the Washington Post:

“In 2017, Caira released her magnum opus: “Tapeworms from Vertebrate Bowels of the Earth.” The 463-page volume, which Caira edited with University of Kansas scientist Kirsten Jensen, is the result of a eight-year effort to survey the intestinal parasites of animals from around the world. The book inventories 4,810 species collected from two oceans and every continent except Antarctica. It also introduces 211 species that are entirely new to science. “We’re very proud,” Caira says. “Bowels of the Earth” is no metaphor. Caira and some three dozen fellow scientists gutted an estimated 14,884 fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, mammals and birds for this project. They traversed grasslands, waded through marshes and trekked across ice.”

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