Intruding vein mass
Parasitism, endless cycles of stealing resources away from other creatures have evolved in the most horribly fascination directions. Rhizocephala is a type of barnacle, though the adult stage is not recognizable as such, that injects a vein-like mass into the body of its ‘host’ crab. The mass acts like roots, sucking up nutrients from the crab. The reproduction of Rhizocephala also relies on parasitism. When the female parasite is ready to mate it sends off chemicals into the water that attract males still in their larval form. These male larvae then parasitize off of the female, providing her with a ready source of sperm. After mating, the Rhizocephalon can force the crab into treating the parasites eggs with the same care she would treat her own crab eggs, even if the crab is a male. It’s a dangerous life in Panthallassa!
Today’s Haiku was promted by a post on the Oceanographer’s choice blog, http://bit.ly/q9thk3.