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Thursday, 22 December 2016


At least 60 per cent of species on Earth are parasites, an organism living in or on another organism, from it gets part or all of its food. It usually shows some degree of adaptive modification, and causes some degree of damage to its host.

Certain types of maggots are parasitic, like the Botfly larvae. These larvae spend part of their life cycle as parasites under the skin of living animals.

A Tetragnatha montana spider parasitised by an Acrodactyla quadrisculpta larva

When fruit flies are infected with a parasite, they self-medicate with booze—they seek out food with higher alcohol content.

Mice have weak bladders and spread urine around homes. Nearly two thirds carry the toxoplasmosis parasite which, if pregnant women are infected, can cause birth defects.

Examples of parasites in humans include tapeworms, leeches and head lice.

Human head lice

The largest parasite ever extracted from the body of a human being was a 37-foot tapeworm.

World-wide, the most serious cause of human death by a parasite is malaria.

Tokyo has a parasite museum with over 300 different parasites, including a 300ft-long tapeworm.

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