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It's the stuff of nightmares, or science fiction: a parasite that wants to get inside an animal's mouth, where it attacks — and replaces — the tongue. That's the incredibly specific, terribly icky job of the tongue-eating louse.
"This parasite detaches the fish's tongue, attaches itself to the fish's mouth, and becomes its tongue," the wildlife agency said, expounding on a photo showing the isopod curled inside a croaker's mouth. "The parasite then feeds on the fish's mucus. It also happens to be the only known case where a parasite functionally replaces a host's organ."