Friday, January 19, 2007

Tongue Snatcher of the Deep!

Parasites, you know I read tons of stuff and every so often something just gets stuck in my head and I can’t shake it out, right now it is parasites. OK, that doesn’t sound exactly right, what I mean is that the subject of parasites takes us on a brief journey into some really freaky weirdness. I’ll spend the next several days posting on the subject so you may want to get your gag reflex ready, you may just need it!

The Spotted Rose Snapper Fish, which lives off the coast of California, is plagued by what must be one of the most disturbing parasites in all of nature. The crustacean parasite, called Cymothoa exigua, enters the fish's mouth and locates tongue an then attaches itself with the claws on its front three pairs of legs. Then it leeches blood from the fish's tongue until the muscle atrophies and dies. The parasite then attaches itself to the withered tongue-stump, and acts as a working replacement for the organ, spending the rest of its life living off bits of food that enter the fish's mouth.

The Cymothoa exigua is the only parasite known to effectively replace a body organ.

See, it really is a Weird, Weird, World in which we live. Keep an open mind and open eyes while you keep walking our weird and wonderful world. See you tomorrow for more weird parasites!

I’m Average Joe


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