Category Archives: parasites

ANGLERFISH:

This female may have been the nightmarish model for Mrs. Pac-man.

This female Anglerfish's tiny mate was once mistaken for a parasite; despite her pronounced lack of physical beauty, women around the world reportedly identify with the female Angler.

 Male Anglerfish (from the order Lophiformes)  are tiny, insignificant in appearance, and were, when scientests first began studying the Anglerfish, thought to be parasites attached to the much larger females (up to 20x larger than the males). When a male matures, his digestive tract dissolves,  and he loses the ability to digest food without a female’s assistance; he thenceforth needs a female to prepare his food and prevent his immanent death. He quickly seeks out a mate, sinks his teeth into her skin, and proceeds to literally digest her tissues and fuse himself to her until they are as one. This romantic process is called “marriage.”* The male then dissolves “into nothing more than a pair of gonads”  that deliver sperm when ovulation is indicated by hormonal cues  in the female’s bloodstream. Despite the  grotesque process, many females find marriage extremely convenient, wishing only that that their mates would also take out the trash. Males seem content with the total loss of identity, so long as they retain their gonads.**

 

** ibid.

Cf. http://webecoist.com/2008/08/24/strangest-endangered-species-and-animals/
      http://tolweb.org/Lophiiformes
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglerfish

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under marine life, parasites, the strange and the beautiful, Uncategorized

The anti-book worm

This image of the anti-book worm is still being authenticated by parasitologists

This image of the anti-book worm is still being authenticated by parasitologists

 

Anti-book worms (cestoda antibibliographia) are a new discovery similar to the amoeba Naegleria fowleri (the brain eating parasite). Despite its name, the anti-book worm enters the host through contact with the old books in which the worms incubate;* anti-book worms enter the host trough tiny lesions in the scalp thought to be caused when readers touch the infested books and then tear their hair. From point of entry anti-book worms travel rapidly to the brain, where they anchor themselves in Brocca’s area (responsible for language production) and Wernicke’s area (where language processing occurs). Here the worms impede dissertation progress: hence the name “anti-book” worm. Increasingly, parasitologists are demonstrating that seventh-year dissertation-level students are in fact suffering from the effects of cestoda antibibliographia infestation, and should not be blamed for exceeding normative time.
  
 * Concerned parents should note that these are typically books from those obscure sections of libraries and private collections used only by graduate students; a recent rash of cases amongst students of literature and literary theory suggests that books in those areas may be particularly implicated in such cases.

  Cf. http://www.cdc.gov/Ncidod/dpd/parasites/listing.htm
      http://library.thinkquest.org/C004367/la4.shtml
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naegleria_fowleri

Leave a comment

Filed under parasites