Tuesday, April 04, 2006


If you are a friend of Mae, and reads her blog, you would have come across this paragraph in one of her posts:

"- One parasite that really awed me is one the size of half ur little finger.
It a dunnowatpod, with 10 legs and it attaches itself to the fish's tongue, sucking
the blood until the fish tongue is so small, then it BECOMES the fish tongue and
eat all the fish food . CHUN OR NOT! Now that is wut i call AH-MAY-ZING!"

Well, I felt curious on what actually is the 'donnowhatpod' so i Googled it and this was the results.

The 'donnowhatpod', aka tongue louse,Cymothoa exigua.(Eh, I can still remember my Bio rules 1..ehheheheheh)

An enlarged pic of the parasite, outside it's victim.

A pic on how it lodges itself in it's host's mouth.

The louse, 'consumes a fish's tongue and replaces it with itself. Cymothoa exigua was discovered inside the mouth of a red snapper bought from a London market. The louse had grabbed ahold of the tongue and slowly eaten it away until only a stub was left. It then latched onto the stub and became the fish's tongue - getting a free meal after having fed on the tongue artery while it ate away'.

'Found attached to Lutjanus guttatus (a red or rose-spotted snapper, depending who you read), the parasite poses no danger to humans'.

'It enters through the fish's gills and uses claws to attach itself to the base of the snapper's tongue and survives by drinking blood from an artery. Once the tongue has been gotten rid of, it attaches itself as a new tongue, and manipulate's the fish's food and consumes the free food particles as the fish eats. Again, there is some confusion on what exactly happens: whether the louse eats the tongue, or simply causes it to atrophy due to blood loss, but the net effect is the same: the louse becomes the new tongue'.

Gross? I think it's quite cool. At least it isn't like the tapeworm that reproduces INSIDE it's host.
Imagine something *ahem*-ing inside your gut. bleh.

Want more info? Then click here or here


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