Saturday, September 12, 2009

Continued WTF this Friday!

Wow, so this gem comes from the blog FY where their tag line is "The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous." Well, this definitely feeds the brain.

The fish, I believe (according to Wikipedia), is a spotted rose snapper and that beauty of a parasite in its mouth is Cymothoa exigua. This little guy swims into the fish's mouth through a gill, attaches itself to the tongue, and through the use of its claws on the front three leg pairs, it feeds off of the host's blood until eventually the fish tongue becomes so atrophied that it falls off.

This is where the cool part happens. The parasite then attaches itself to fish with claws via the base of the former tongue. The fish can then use the parasite just like a regular tongue, and it is believed that there is no further damage inflicted to the host as the parasite now feeds off either the host's blood or off of the fish's mucus. Pretty interesting, no?