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Encyclopedia > Parasite

A parasite is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life in or on the living tissue of a host organism and which causes harm to the host without immediately killing it. Parasites also commonly show highly specialized adaptations allowing them to exploit host resources. In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a complex adaptive system of organs that influence each other in such a way that they function as a more or less stable whole and have properties of life. ...

The harm caused to a host by a parasite can take many forms, from direct pathology, including various specialized types of tissue damage, such as castration, to more subtle effects such as modification of host behaviour. Many cuckoos, for example, are brood parasites that use their unwitting hosts as lifetime "babysitters": cuckoo young are raised by adults of the host species, but adult cuckoos fend for themselves. Pathology (from Greek pathos, feeling, pain, suffering; and logos, study of; see also -ology) is the study of the processes underlying disease and other forms of illness, harmful abnormality, or dysfunction. ... Genera See text. ... Brood parasite is a term specifically applied to birds or insects that leave their eggs in the nests of other birds or insects to be raised. ...

The biological interaction between host and parasite is considered by some to be a type of symbiosis. Classically, the distinction between parasites and other symbionts was methodological: parasites were symbionts that could not be kept alive outside the host, unlike bacteria, for example, which could be cultured in a laboratory. Biological interactions result from the fact that organisms in an ecosystem interact with each other, in the natural world, no organism is an autonomous entity isolated from its surroundings. ... Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) in their magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) home. ... Subgroups Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... Biochemistry laboratory at the University of Cologne. ...

Evolutionarily speaking, biotrophic parasitism is an extremely successful mode of life. Depending on the definition used, as many as half of all animals have at least one parasitic phase in their life cycles, and it is also frequent in plants and fungi. Moreover, almost all free-living animals are host to one or more parasite taxa. A speculative phylogenetic tree of all living things, based on rRNA gene data, showing the separation of the three domains, bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. ... Parasitism is an interaction between two organisms, in which one organism (the parasite) benefits and the other (the host) is harmed. ... Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anemones) Placozoa (trichoplax) Subregnum Bilateria (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Orthonectida (parasitic to flatworms, echinoderms, etc. ... Divisions Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants Adiantum pedatum (a fern... Divisions Chytridiomycota Zygomycota Ascomycota Basidiomycota The Fungi (singular: fungus) are a large group of organisms ranked as a kingdom within the Domain Eukaryota. ... A taxon (plural taxa), or taxonomic unit, is a grouping of organisms (named or unnamed). ...

Necrotrophs are parasites that use another organism's tissue for their own nutritional benefit until the host dies from loss of needed tissues or nutrients. Biotrophs' hosts are kept alive, and parasites in a symbiotic relation which is a co-operative relationship between two species for mutual gain. A parasite is an organism that lives in or on the living tissue of a host organism at the expense of it. ...

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See also

Intestinal parasites are parasites that populate the gastro-intestinal tract. ... A saprophyte used to be defined as any organism which obtained its energy from decaying animal or vegetable matter. ... Red blood cell infected with malaria Of all the infectious diseases: malaria (from the Italian mal laria, meaning bad air ) has affected the most number of peple. ... Teratology (from the Greek teras (genitive teratos), meaning monster, and logos meaning study) is the medical study of teratogenesis or grossly deformed individuals. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into parasite. ... Parasitoids differ from parasites in their relationship with the host. ... Macroparasites are parasites that are large enough to be seen with the naked eye and are the opposite of microparasites which cant. ...


  Results from FactBites:
Parasite (0 words)
Parasite exploded onto the KISS scene with their first live show on February 8th 1997, at Harley’s in Cleethorpes, and have been delighting KISS fans with their powerful, authentic, re-creations of all that is best about KISS ever since.
Parasite are four very talented guys who turned their dream into reality and pay their tribute to KISS with energy and enthusiasm and true style.
Parasite believes wholeheartedly in what they do and put on a good show with the philosophy that both they and the fans are there to have fun.
Parasite - MSN Encarta (1097 words)
Parasitism affects most life forms, from bacteria infected by the viruses known as bacteriophages, to humans, who are subject to more than 100 parasites known to cause disease.
Parasites that live on the inside of the host’s body are known as endoparasites, while those that live on the outer surface of their hosts are known as ectoparasites.
Parasitic worms, including flatworms (soft-bodied worms, such as tapeworms and flukes) and roundworms (thin, unsegmented worms, also called nematodes) are endoparasites, usually living in the intestines, lungs, liver, or other internal organs of their hosts.
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