A 3D scan reveals the appearance of parasites that replace the host's 'tongue'

There are various types of parasites that parasitize the 'host' creature, including those that control the host's thoughts and ultimately act to feed themselves. A 3D scan of the head of a fish by an American biologist revealed a parasite that 'parasitizes the tongue of the fish and eventually becomes a 'living tongue' by spilling blood'.

Meet the'vampire' parasite that masquerades as a living tongue | Live Science

This is what Kory Evans, who works as an Associate Professor of Biology at Rice University in the United States, posted on Twitter on August 10, 2020. Evans Mr. Bella in the middle of digitized scan the, cymothoidae seems parasite has been discovered that it is parasitic as the 'new tongue' in Bella's mouth.

According to Two Oceans Aquarium , such parasites usually invade the gills into the mouth of the fish and cling firmly to their tongue with 14 legs. It bites your tongue and releases anticoagulant substances, which keeps the fish's blood devoured. The tongue of the fish gradually shrinks as the parasite takes away blood, and the original tongue disappears, eventually replacing the parasite with the tongue of the fish. After that, the parasites get blood from the fish, and the parasites act as the 'living tongue' of the fish.

In many cases, the coexistence of fish and parasites lasts for several years. Fish live longer than parasites, according to Stefanie Kaiser, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Hydrosphere Research Institute in New Zealand.

Mr. Evans, who performed a 3D scan of the coexistence relationship between Bella and parasites, was in the middle of a project to create a 3D X-ray database of the Perciformes Vera family. According to Evans, Bella has a unique head structure, even without parasites on her tongue, saying, 'They have a second jaw in their throat, like in the movie Alien. Use the second jaw to crush and eat shells such as snails.' The purpose of the project was to make the special skull of Bella 3D and compare it with other fish, but in the middle of that, a fish with a parasite on the tongue was accidentally discovered.

The skull of Bella scanned in 3D looks like this. The part colored purple is a parasite.

Seen from the front like this.

In addition, it seems that sometimes two parasites parasitize the mouth of the fish.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by darkhorse_log