strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

  • Categories

  • Wall of the Dead

  • Advertisements

Smaller Fleas to Bite ‘Em

Posted by Richard Conniff on January 9, 2013

darnmiteI’ve been spending a lot of time lately talking with people about the microbiome, that cloud of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live on all of us and (most of the time) help keep us healthy.  Much of science these days (see my post Life Inside Life Inside a Leaf) seems like a variation on the Jonathan Swift verse, from “On Poetry:  A Rhapsody.”   Swift was writing about critics, and only invoking natural history by analogy.  But he got it right:

So nat’ralists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller fleas to bite ’em.
And so proceeds Ad infinitum.

One Response to “Smaller Fleas to Bite ‘Em”

  1. Zo now you are a fun guy……..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s