Rhizocephala, the Parasitic Barnacles

Happy hump day everyone! Today, I am posting a video about rhizocephala, the little-known cousin of the more charismatic acorn barnacle. These creatures parasitize decapods such as crabs and lobsters. They undergo complex life cycles, in which their adult form becomes reduced entirely to a network of roots and a sac of reproductive organs. Rhizocephala are treacherous because, as they grow within their hosts, they manage to convince the decapod to divert resources and caregiving to rhizocephalan babies rather than their own – in fact, these crabs and lobsters wrongly believe they are tending to their own offspring, when they are actually facilitating rhizocephalan reproduction. Want to learn more this bizarre organism? How does it sustains itself as a system of threads and reproductive sac? What kind of apparent mind-control powers do these parasites wield? Watch below to learn more! I made the video using cardstock cut-outs and stop-motion animation.

CreatureCast – Rhizocephala from Casey Dunn on Vimeo.

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2 thoughts on “Rhizocephala, the Parasitic Barnacles

  1. Pingback: Public Service Announcement: CreatureCast Screening! | Ink Chromatography

  2. Pingback: Good Reads: Lifecycles, by Manvir Singh | Ink Chromatography

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