Cannibal shrimp? Yes indeed, and there is an explanation why these animals turn on their own kind. They have been infected with a parasite that turns them into constant eaters!!
Researchers from University of Leeds, Queens University of Belfast and Stellenbosch University wondered why these aquatic creatures were ingesting other shrimp. What they found was the shrimp were infected with Pleistrophora Mulleri, a worm that lives in the muscle. It may surprise you to know that cannibalism is pretty common in nature, but this behavior is extreme.
Parasites rob the host or animal, shrimp in this case, of energy forcing them to eat more and more. The parasite effects are debilitating and demonstrate how infection can influence biologic behavior. Although ingesting the shrimp does not pose a threat to humans, we are not immune to parasite infection.
In fact, according to the CDC, there are 5 parasitic infections on the hit list: Chagas disease, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, and trichomoniasis. The most common, with infection rates of 60 million per year is Toxoplasmosis followed by Trichomoniasis, a STD.
Read more at www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2015/03/parasite-turns-shrimp-voracious-cannibals?et_cid=4470953&et_rid=748938987&location=top
And get the facts on the parasite hit list at www.cdc.gov/parasites/npi/index.html