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Content tagged with "parasite"

Photo of male brown-headed cowbird

Brown-Headed Cowbird

Molothrus ater
The brown-headed cowbird never builds a nest of its own. Instead, it lays eggs, one at a time, into the nests of other birds. Each cowbird is raised by unwitting foster parents.

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Photo of female brown-headed cowbird

Brown-Headed Cowbird (Female)

Brown-headed cowbird females are grayish brown with few distinguishing marks. Most people identify the females by their association with the more easily identified males.

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Photo of male brown-headed cowbird, closeup of head

Brown-Headed Cowbird (Head Of Male)

Anthropomorphism is putting human feelings and judgments on nonhuman subjects, as when we think of cowbirds as shady, nefarious sneaks who foist their young onto others. Scientists reject such moralizing and strive for objectivity. They see that it is human settlement that has allowed the cowbirds’ expansion.

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Photo of male brown-headed cowbird

Brown-Headed Cowbird (Male)

Brown-headed cowbird males are glossy black, with a chocolate-brown head and dark eye. Their song is a gurgled series of notes. The call is a high-pitched, two-note whistle and a harsh, stuttering rattle.

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Photo of three dickcissel eggs in a nest plus one cowbird egg

Brown-Headed Cowbird Egg In Dickcissel Nest

Cowbirds lay eggs, singly, in the nests of other birds to be raised by unwitting host parents. The baby cowbird hatches before the other eggs and grows fast, getting more food and often leading to the death of its hosts’ own young. This non-nesting lifestyle apparently is an adaptation to the cowbirds’ nomadic life following bison herds.

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Painting of male and female brown-headed cowbird

Brown-Headed Cowbirds

Brown-headed cowbirds never build nests of their own. Instead, they deposit eggs, one at a time, into the nests of other birds. Each cowbird is raised by unwitting foster parents.

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Image of a chestnut lamprey

Chestnut Lamprey

Ichthyomyzon castaneus
This strange, eel-like fish generates a lot of excitement when people see it, because it's a "vampire" to other fish. Adults have a well-developed, rasplike oral disc, seven porelike gill openings, no paired fins and a single nostril. The ammocoetes (the larval forms) are eyeless and have a horseshoe-shaped hood as a mouth.

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bristly round mouth of chesnut lamprey

Chestnut Lamprey Disk Mouth

The chestnut lamprey's raspy, suction-disk mouth allows it to attach to the sides of various species of fish, where it sucks its hosts' body fluids.

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magnified chigger

Chiggers

Trombicula alfreddugesi and other Trombicula spp.
The worst thing about Missouri summers is chiggers. They are nearly invisible but leave itchy red welts. Avoid their habitat areas, especially after noon.

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