December 2005
Weekly Reader News - Senior;12/9/2005, Vol. 84 Issue 13, p6
This article focuses on a tiny white parasite called Cymothoa exigua discovered by scientists in England that destroys the tongue of fishes and replaces the organ with its own body. This parasites live in red snappers. It latches on to an artery in the mouth of a fish and cuts off the blood supply to the tongue of the fish. The tongue eventually wastes away and falls off. The parasite then attaches itself in place of the tongue. Scientists say red snappers and the parasites get along swimmingly. The parasites fill up on bits of the food of the fish. And red snappers do not seem to mind eating for two. The unusual pairs are usually found off the coast of California, so tongues were wagging when the fishy discovery made a splash at a fish market in London, England.


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