A Disgusting Squidgy Parasite That Eats Tongues for Fun (15 pics + 2 gifs)

Posted in Pictures       14 Sep 2013       11912       3

Meet the Cymothoa exigua.

Some people call them tongue-eating louses, but that feels a little pejorative to me.

These lil’ cuties belong to a family of creatures called parasitic crustaceans:

They’re actually related to these guys, who you’ve maybe seen before:

(They’re called isopods, btw, and I guess they’re pretty into Doritos?)

Kinda adorable, in a weird way, right?

The Cymothoa exigua has sort of an interesting existence.

You see, they crawl in through a fish’s gills…

…work their way to the fish’s mouth…

…EAT THE FISH’S TONGUE OUT OF ITS MOUTH…

…ATTACH THEMSELVES TO THE TINY NUB LEFT OVER…

…AND BECOME THE FISH’S NEW TONGUE!

THESE LITTLE DARLINGS ARE ALL TERRIFYING LITTLE TONGUE-BECOMERS!

Don’t worry, though, they’re not harmful to humans… YET!

Except, they apparently can bite, so be careful if you ever see one.

Which you may, because they do sometimes show up in the mouths of fish at supermarkets.

Anyways, now you know they’re a thing! Also, you’re probably pretty aware of how your tongue feels in your mouth now, right? Neat!


Credits:  www.buzzfeed.com

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Comments (3):

1
1.
dontbugme 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
It doesn't EAT the tongue... It cuts off the blood supply to the tongue which then dies and falls off.
       
0
2.
gigantes 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
it doesn't do it for fun, either. that's how it makes its living.

and most of the cells in our bodies belong to other creatures living on us or inside us.
       
0
3.
GWTW 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
These are horrific to see in real life. I once caught a fish with one of these and it was gross.......
       
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