Leechfest 2006: “We are Always the Bait”

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I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, I need more stories about leeches. I want to find out what scientists are learning about how leeches evolved.

And I know that’s not all you want.

You want to watch a leech video.

And you want a podcast about leech evolution.

Well, you’re in luck.

Here’s the story, which I wrote for tomorrow’s New York Times. It’s a profile of Mark Siddall, hirundologist extraordinaire at the American Museum of Natural History. His motto: We are always the bait.

The story inspired the video team at the Times to film Siddall, who explains why we really shouldn’t be scared of leeches. Watch here. (Make sure you use high bandwidth if you can handle it–so you can see those nice leech undulations.)

And here’s the podcast. The Science Times has decided to plunge into the world of podcasting, and they thought one of the things they should start off with is the leech. I couldn’t agree more.

Welcome to Leechfest 2006.

Update, 2/7/06 7:30 am: apparently the video link I provided is not good. You can get to it from the article here.

Update, 9:45 am: Scratch that. Dylab in comments points here.