5 of the most devilish parasites in the world
Even if you have absolutely nothing against filthy bugs like larvae and the like, surely you shouldn't like the idea of having your body overrun with parasites, right? For there are so many of these little monsters in the wild, and some of them, though small, are totally diabolical.
They are shrewd and use the most mind-boggling strategies to stay alive, even if it means destroying anything in their path, sucking the lives of their hosts, or even devouring them from the inside without mercy. Here are five of these parasites - selected from a live science article - below:
1 - Dinosaur Eater
The famous tyrannosaurus known as Sue - which is the largest, most complete and best preserved specimen of these animals ever found - may have perished due to a protozoan infection. Sue is a major attraction of the Chicago Field Museum, and features a series of jaw holes that until recently paleontologists believed to be scars from bloody fighting with other large reptiles.
However, according to a research team, Sue's injuries were caused by a protozoan that infected her mouth and throat. Currently, some birds are host to this parasite without suffering many sequelae. However, when the infection strikes birds of prey such as hawks and hawks, for example, protozoan causes serious injuries that closely resemble those found in Sue.
In the case of the dinosaur, scientists believe that the infestation was probably so severe that Sue - about 13 meters tall and seven tons in weight - starved to death.
2 - Alien the parasite
For most parasites, it is not interesting that their hosts die. After all, they need to keep feeding on them, don't they? Well, that's if the parasite in question isn't a parasitoid wasp, a damn animal that inspired the creation of the terrifying alien from the movie "Alien the 8th Passenger."
These creatures lay their eggs inside the victims, and the little children devour the poor hosts from the inside out while the poor people are still alive. And as if that weren't enough, some species of these parasites can even control their prey's mind, causing them to change their behavior.
An example of this is the wasp larvae of the species Hymenoepimecis argyraphagaI. In addition to infecting the bodies of spiders - Plesiometa argyra - the perverse little creatures also make victims weave special webs to protect their cocoons.
3 - Male Terminator
In addition to a specific genus of bacteria - known as Wolbachia - infecting 70% of the planet's invertebrates, this cunning agent has yet developed a malignant plan to continue spreading. The bacterium has found a way to infect the eggs of the "host" so that the parasite is present in future generations of insects.
But that's not all: since males are useless to such bacteria - after all, they have no children - the parasite often causes the death of male embryos or turns them into female to increase the birth rate of female insects.
4 - Language sucker
There is a crustacean - which, as you can see in the image above, looks like a baratone - called the meager Cymothoa that not only devours fish tongues ( Lutjanus guttatus ), but takes its place in the mouths of animals. For this, the parasite invades the victim's body through the gills and settles at the base of the tongue, where it then begins to suck blood.
This action causes the organ to eventually shrink dramatically over time, and the vampire crustacean remains trapped there and eventually occupies the place that once belonged to the fish's tongue.
5 - In the eyes not ...
We couldn't finish our list of diabetic parasites without including one that attacks humans, right? Then meet loa loa, a larva that inhabits West African forests and swamps. Transmission occurs through the bite of flies - of the family Tabanidae -, and the disgusting circulate under the skin of the victims, feeding on tissues and fluids of the hosts.
And the larvae are very cunning: they stay in the victims' bloodstream during the day so that it is easier to infect other flies, which in turn continue to infect more people with loa loa . But it doesn't end here ... at night, the larvae settle in the lungs of the hosts and occasionally migrate to the eyes, resulting in a painful experience beyond. Have you thought?!