biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow lamprey parasitism

Something Terribly Fishy

But unquestionably true

Speak with a non-zoologist about “parasitic fishes” and the conversation will inevitably come to “murderous” piranhas. Yet, in spite of their reputation these South American freshwater fish are not parasitic, but represent predators with razor sharp teeth and a healthy appetite, which can indeed kill, but aren’t murderous. Predators, by definition, finish off their prey; yes, but parasites are animals that obtain nourishment from another living animal without killing it, like for instance blood-sucking hagfishes and lampreys. —>—>