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Parasitism

This category contains 8 posts
Figure 2: Picture of French Grunt (Haemulon flavolineatum) originally by Albert Kok. Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

Grunts and Gnathiids: One Fish’s Daily Migration to Escape Parasites?

Animals move for a number of reasons. The French grunt leaves the coral reefs at night for seagrass. A group of scientists proposes and provides good evidence for why they might do that! Read on to discover whether they’re leaving to avoid being parasitized?

Figure 1 – Trematode parasites in an unshelled California horn snail.  The normal horn snail (top) has orange tissue that produces sperm.  The infected horn snail (bottom) has none of that orange tissue and is instead used as a resource for the trematode parasite.  Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/8417

Can being sick be a good thing for surviving ocean acidification?

Scientists (myself included!) have been doing a lot of work on how marine animals respond to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, but CO2 alone isn’t the only problem. This study looks at how having a parasite affects survival in marine snails exposed to high CO2 – do they survive longer in those conditions with or without a bunch of parasites? Read on for a surprising answer!

Figure 1. Bluestreak cleaner wrasses (Labroides dimidiatus). Photo credit: Richard Field, http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.php?resultPage=2&StartRow=0&ID=5459&what=species&TotRec=16

Better Together: Mutualisms contribute to reef fish recruitment

All other things being equal, would you rather live where mutually beneficial relationships are available or where they aren’t? Well, if you’re like me, you’d prefer beneficial relationships. And I’m not alone in that. It turns out that damselfish on reefs prefer to settle where there are cleaner wrasses to keep them parasite-free. Read on to find out more!

Figure 1. Cryoconite holes form on the surface of glaciers when winds deposit dark colored dust, dirt, aerosols, or other material on glaciers. The dark color of cryoconite dust absorbs more incoming solar radiation and melts faster, creating small pools of water on the surface of the glacier. Photo courtesy of climatica.org.uk

It’s a virus’ world: Glaciers host unique viral communities

Scientists have only recently started studying the wealth of biological diversity that is found on top of glaciers. Cryoconite holes hold microscopic communities of algae, bacteria, and viruses. These studies are revealing an increasingly complex web of interactions between community members, driving the evolution of many unique adaptations to survive in such stiff competition.

Seen at the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia in Bulgaria.

Sex and parasitism on the open sea and in a fish’s mouth.

Parisites live in fish mouths and undergo opportunistic sex changes.

Figure 1: Main players – mother whale and her calf | example of gull predation, inset: cyamid

Gulls in Argentina bully whales into changing their behavior

Whales are a lot like people: if something’s annoying or hurting you, you’ll go out of your way to avoid it, and whales do the same thing. This study out of Argentina focuses on how gull attacks have changed the way southern right whales breathe. Read on to find out what they do differently!

Photo by John Øystein Berg in Snillfjord, Middle Norway, shows wounds due to sea lice parasitism.  www.atlanticsalmontrust.org

Sunday brunch: Lox with… lice?

Lox and lice. Not a combination of critters you envision when planning your Sunday brunch. Unfortunately, an increase in drug resistant sea lice is threatening both wild and farmed salmonid populations.

Copepod

Deadly Dino’s

Copepods dominate the world’s oceans. They are important in the marine food web and help to regulate the global carbon cycle. Being abundant in the ocean is not always fun. Copepods attract attention from infectious parasites, especially from a certain species of dinoflagellate. What potential effects can this parasite have on copepods and what other large-scale implications may arise?

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