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Parasitic pearlfish feed on the sea cucumber’s internal organs

Posted in Fish, Nature, Sea on Friday, 24 February 2012

This edited article about fish originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 650 published on 29 June 1974.

Sea cucumber, picture, image, illustration

The sea cucumber is host to the parasitic pearlfish

The Fierasfer, or Carapus is a small, eel-like pearlfish which actually lives most of its life as a parasite inside the body of a sea cucumber. It feeds on some of the internal organs of its host, but does not kill the sea cucumber because it can re-grow the parts that are eaten. It comes out occasionally to catch a few shrimps and small crabs. It has been found that in the seas around the West Indies, one in every three sea cucumbers has a fish inside it.

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