Tag Archive: parasite

Nov 29

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Ant-Decapitating Fly

Ants are the ultimate soldiers. They never question orders from their superiors, they complete their missions to the full or die trying, and they never take a day off sick. They are so focused on the task at hand, in fact, that they will continue marching even if they lose their heads… literally. The picture …

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Oct 02

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Tongue-Eating Louse

The tongue-eating louse is the ultimate uninvited guest. It turns up unannounced, eats everything in sight and then vastly overstays its welcome. In fact, it doesn’t actually leave until the day it dies. Hopefully you’ve never had a guest quite like that. The picture above seems to depict a fish that is in the process of eating …

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Sep 17

The Worm Within Us: Tapeworm

The majority of us don’t find nature disagreeable. The common consensus is that it is perfectly acceptable, even beautiful… in its right place. But its right place, we feel, is rarely in our homes, and almost never inside our bodies. The human body is, in fact, a seething mass of other creatures, from microscopic bacteria …

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Feb 03

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Bird Fluke

The humble garden snail has a nemesis. No, it’s not a bird, or a clumsy gardener, or even the French. It’s not even something that the snail can see (assuming, of course, that they actually had decent vision) because this threat lives inside its body. It’s called a trematode, or bird fluke, and it’s a …

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Nov 24

Animal Relationships: Oxpecker and Large African Mammals

The buffalo, chewing the cud on the African savannah, is a walking menagerie. So, too, is the giraffe, and the elephant, and all the other large mammals on the grassland. What on first glance appears to be a single individual is just an illusion, for all of these animals are ecosystems in their own right. …

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Nov 19

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Strepsiptera

You know you’ve got a major problem when you have another organism living inside your body, eating your innards, controlling your growth and sticking out of your rear end. If that isn’t worthy of an emergency trip to the hospital, I don’t know what is. But wasps don’t have hospitals, so if this sort of …

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Nov 05

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Sacculina

Barnacles lead mundane lives. They spend their time attached to old piers and sunken ships, waving their tiny arms about all day to grab edible morsels from the water. But one barnacle decided that arm-waving just wasn’t for it and it turned down a more sinister route. It’s the body-snatching barnacle known as Sacculina. As …

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Oct 29

Zombie Caterpillars and Voodoo Wasps

Caterpillars have it rough. For every butterfly that you see, countless more will have perished as either caterpillars or pupae at the hands of parasitic wasps. These wasps land on innocent caterpillars as they are contentedly munching away on leaves, inject their eggs into them and then fly away; the eggs hatch within the caterpillar …

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