Woodlouse Want’s Some Tongue?
Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on November 20, 2010
While I’m currently in the process of deleting my MySpace blogs owning to the fact MySpace has just done a Windows Live Spaces and forced a load of crap changes on the site, I’m posting up some of my blogs that I never posted on WLS . I’ll post my ‘My MySpace Retro Blogs’ once a week untill I run out of them. Here’s an interesting one… (originally posted on 30th June 2010)… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Some times nature can be cruel, funny, beautiful and also completely disgusting and fascinating. I love the way natural selection forces creatures to adapt.
I came across this strange but intriguing animal while looking for another strange animal called the “Candiru” a fish in South Central America that swims up the gills of Fish, following the scent of Urea, and drinks their blood, and has also been known to do it to and make itself at home in the Human Urethra!
I noticed in the list of parasites this strange little thing:
I don’t know about you but that just looks Sci-fi! Apparently Cymothoa Exigua (The Tongue-Eating Louse) is a sea dwelling crustacean that’s somewhat related to the humble woodlouse in your Garden. Like the Candiru fish, it makes it’s way in to the Fish’s body via the Gills and then clamps itself down on the Fish’s tongue and begins to suck the blood out of it with it’s two front hollow claws.
It stays there untill the tongue has been completely drained of blood and dies. Once the tongue has gone the Louse then attaches itself to the remainder of the fish’s tongue, nothing but a stub at this point, and then becomes the Fish’s tongue. The Louse survives by helping move food down the Fish’s throat, as it does this it eats some of the food itself and subsists on that.
It’s the only known parasitic creature to destroy and then replace the host’s original organ. No need to worry, the Tongue-eating Louse only feeds on the Red Snapper (a Fish) and isn’t considered dangerous to Humans. It usually lives around the coast of California but one was found in a Fish in UK waters, but was assumed to have traveled with the fish.