Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Isopod Got Your Tongue? | Tuesday Trivia

Mulluane | Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 2 Comments so far
Cat got your tongue? No? Well if you are a red snapper a parasite named Cymothoa Exigua just might!

***Warning*** This is kinda gross but extremely fascinating.

Cymothoa Exigua replaces tongue in red snapper
Source: wired.com

Is it me or does that tongue have 2 little eyes!

From Wikipedia:

Cymothoa exigua extracts blood through the claws on its front, causing the tongue to atrophy from lack of blood. The parasite then replaces the fish's tongue by attaching its own body to the muscles of the tongue stub. The fish is able to use the parasite just like a normal tongue. It appears that the parasite does not cause any other damage to the host fish. Once C. exigua replaces the tongue, some feed on the host's blood and many others feed on fish mucus. This is the only known case of a parasite functionally replacing a host organ. There are many species of Cymothoa, but only C. exigua is known to consume and replace its host's tongue.

Proving once again that truth is stranger than fiction...

Both of the linked sources have more detail on this unique creature. Well worth the read if you'd like more information. The various lengths that some creatures go to just to survive and procreate is an endless source of amazement to me and this ranks right up near the top of my list of strange and unusual!

So what odd creatures are on your list?

Mulluane is a 55-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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Dragons, Heroes and Wizards


  1. Oh my! This is both fascinating and terrifying!
    And now I'm wondering if those poor snappers have a tradition of... er... Cymothoa-in-cheek jokes...

    (((sheepish grin)))

    As for other strange creatures, I googled a bit and discovered many, but the one that had me staring was the Tufted Deer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tufted_deer). Bambi with vampire-like fangs! Oh, the unspeakable horror! :-)

    Mother Nature does have a quirky sense of humor indeed...

    1. OMG! That thing looks evil.... I love the mohawk too.


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