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Paying homage to the wonderful, unusual and diverse world of animals. I make no claim to content ownership. Sources are credited (with links) whenever possible — on both unique posts & re-blogs. Any post will be removed upon request (please provide URL link to the post/page). Enjoy! Email: animalworldtumblrblog@gmail.com Twitter: @animalworldtoo


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TONGUE EATING PARASITE - (Cymothoa exigua)
If this isn’t a creepy animal, then we may as well close shop. Ewwwwwwwww.
Cymothoa exigua, or the tongue-eating louse, is a parasitic crustacean of the family Cymothoidae. It tends to be 3 to 4 centimetres (1.2 to 1.6 in) long. 
This parasite enters through the gills, and then attaches itself at the base of the spotted rose snapper’s (Lutjanus guttatus) tongue. 
It extracts blood through the claws on its front, causing the tongue to atrophy from lack of blood. 
The parasite then replaces the fish’s tongue by  attaching its own body to the muscles of the tongue stub. 
The fish is  able to use the parasite just like a normal tongue. It appears that the  parasite does not cause any other damage to the host fish.
Once C. exigua replaces the tongue, some feed on the host’s blood and many others feed on fish mucus.
This is the only known case of a parasite functionally replacing a host organ.
It is currently believed that C. exigua are not harmful to humans unless picked up alive, in which case they can bite.
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymothoa_exigua
Other Photos you might like:
The “Bomb” Dropping Swima Worm
The killer Tapestry Cone Snail
Hagfish

TONGUE EATING PARASITE - (Cymothoa exigua)

If this isn’t a creepy animal, then we may as well close shop. Ewwwwwwwww.

  • Cymothoa exigua, or the tongue-eating louse, is a parasitic crustacean of the family Cymothoidae. It tends to be 3 to 4 centimetres (1.2 to 1.6 in) long.
  • This parasite enters through the gills, and then attaches itself at the base of the spotted rose snapper’s (Lutjanus guttatus) tongue.
  • It extracts blood through the claws on its front, causing the tongue to atrophy from lack of blood.
  • The parasite then replaces the fish’s tongue by attaching its own body to the muscles of the tongue stub.
  • The fish is able to use the parasite just like a normal tongue. It appears that the parasite does not cause any other damage to the host fish.
  • Once C. exigua replaces the tongue, some feed on the host’s blood and many others feed on fish mucus.
  • This is the only known case of a parasite functionally replacing a host organ.
  • It is currently believed that C. exigua are not harmful to humans unless picked up alive, in which case they can bite.

Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymothoa_exigua

Other Photos you might like:

The “Bomb” Dropping Swima Worm

The killer Tapestry Cone Snail

Hagfish

Notes

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