Science: In Praise of Ticks

Dr. Cornelius B. Philip of the U.S. Public Health Service has spent a lifetime studying ticks. Like many a biologist who has an intimate understanding of an alien species, Dr. Philip seems to sympathize with his little associates. Ticks are neither beautiful nor intelligent, he reports in Scientific Monthly, but they have a rugged persistence which Dr. Philip admires.

Men have complained about ticks since Homer's time. The worst thing they do is spread disease, but even this trait is not always considered a disservice. Certain death-dealing ticks of Madagascar are encouraged to live in native villages. The local people become immune...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!