Parasites are always the weirdest.

Parasitic crustaceans:

Parasitic jellyfish:

Another parasitic jellyfish (its larva develops inside-out, then turns itself outside-in when it bursts out of its host!):

>> Some flukes have evolved a behavior in which the larvae join into shapes that mimic small organisms. In doing so, they entice a fish to eat the larvae, so they can continue their life cycle inside the host.

>> These passengers, it seems, act as the infectious agents, waiting to infiltrate the gills or intestines of a fish that swallows them. The sailors, meanwhile, do the hard work of moving the blob through the water—but in [sic, doing so] sacrifice their own opportunities to reproduce.

That's fascinating! Dr. Ian Malcolm, your quote forever echoes.

It's like a floating Rat King:

>One of those intrigued was Igor Adameyko, a developmental neurobiologist at the Medical University of Vienna. (A fellow enthusiast of marine biology, he spotted the pictures on Instagram, where he has his own account dedicated to marine zooplankton.)

A definite scientist advanced in marine biology, just employed in a different laboratory profession so technically not an "actual marine biology professional".

>in his lab, Adameyko would like to learn more

>“These are our night science projects, because we want to have fun in the lab,” he says. “The idea is that there are no limits. And if you want to do something cool, you can.”

Careful, having an attitude like that can impart an unfair advantage so strong that it can draw some blowback from many so-called "serious professional" environments.


For the first time in a lot of time, they used the term mind-boggling accurately. I had never ever seen something like this before in a digenean.

The author mentioned it in the text, but Carl Zimmer‘s Parasitus Rex is is a good, horrifying read.
> This phenomenon, in which one member of a species forgoes its own chance to reproduce so that another can, is called kin selection.

So why don’t the one species die out? When do they reproduce?

This instantly reminded me of Halo's Mgalekgolo a.k.a hunters, which are actually an unintelligent worm-like life form (Lekgolo) that aggregate as a collective (a colony) into an extremely resilient, strengthful, nimble, and smart humanoid body.

That's pretty cool. It's like a teeny, suicidal, Portuguese Man O' War.

The "Kin Selection" thing is fairly common in insects.

Most workers and soldiers in hives are sterile females (so when those white-faced hornets swarm your ass, it's "Hell hath no fury" in action).

This thing is terrifying.

It's like a Trojan Horse (the weapon of war) and. Trojan Horse (the malware) both in one

evolutionary precursors, literal wingmen, working selflessly in favor of better chances for reproductive success.
I think it looks fine? Kinda cute.