Questions tagged [parasites]

For questions about organisms that feed off living hosts without consent or reimbursement.

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8
votes
6answers
2k views

Sentient parasite

Realistically, how could a parasite become sentient? It doesn't have to be one that can control it's host like a yeerk from Animorphs, but that wouldn't be a disqualifying factor.
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Effects of a theoretical parasitic superfungus on the ecosystem

I came up with an idea for a parasitic fungus for my world, and I was wondering if it would be biologically viable/possible. Here are its traits. After the target organism breathes in the spores, they ...
4
votes
3answers
151 views

Plausibility of a fungal radiotroph that behaves similar to cancer

I want to create a fungal organism that feeds off of radiation from nearby stars and replaces cells within the body of other organisms with modified copies. The planet on which this fungal organism ...
5
votes
4answers
896 views

Why can’t gene stealing parasites transform their hosts into magic users?

In my modern-day setting, people who use magic are called Fjǫlkunnigr, who gain four different powers based on core aspects of their personality called Megin. There are only three ways for someone to ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

A brood parasite that mimics humans, plausible?

I thought of a brood parasite that co-existed with humans and has evolved to mimic humans and to infiltrate human families as a brood parasite -- similar to a cuckoo birds -- as adopted children who ...
1
vote
5answers
271 views

How can a demonic parasite protect its future investment?

Elves are born with different amounts of mana, which increases as they age and will determine their potential of magical power. Elven maidens with large reserves of mana usually produce powerful ...
6
votes
5answers
172 views

Physiology of a heart hijacking parasite?

This is a question regarding my little critters that hijack of their victim. By doing so they get direct access to a steady flow of nutrients through the bloodstream and get shelter with optimal ...
4
votes
2answers
250 views

How big and numerous do ticks needs to be to threaten human life?

A world has grassy plains infested with larger-than-normal (perhaps even giant) blood-sucking ticks. Ignoring their main diet for the time being: They should be dangerous enough to threaten humans ...
5
votes
3answers
95 views

Limits of useful parasites and waste systems

This is something I’m struggling to find answers for online. I need to be able to explain and justify the biology of a species that capable of surving in multiple environments including changes in ...
22
votes
13answers
8k views

What can a parasite offer its human hosts in a mutualistic relationship?

Working on a story right now where parasite-controlled humans essentially become the apex predators in the world, and harvest uninfected humans to further spread the organism. These kinds of mind-...
3
votes
4answers
262 views

What would be the most effective way for a parasitic alien lifeform to spread and grow on a post-apocalyptic Earth?

The background is that Earth is the victim of a massive comet strike, that wipes out a large portion of humanity (let's say 80-90%). Let's say that the comet was carrying an alien parasite that's a ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Could a cockatrice have parasitic embryos?

I had an idea to make cockatrices "realistic" (as in make a bit more sense) for what ever reason the noble cockatrice has evolved to use other species eggs for its own. It does this by "sitting" on ...
6
votes
3answers
331 views

A parasite that infects humans who are over the age of 25

I want to know if the disease I invented is logical or just a total fiction. A parasite (parasitic fungus) lives within the human brain. It infects other humans by releasing spores while invoking ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

How would a cursed mask work? [closed]

I want to write a novel in which the main antagonist has a cursed mask that determines his "mischievous" attitude. Why would a symbiotic mask attach itself on this guy and make him bad (except from ...
5
votes
9answers
10k views

How long could a human being survive after being swallowed by a whale?

In the short story, a man is swallowed by a giant, fictional fish. In fact, he is swallowed whole along with his log cabin and a bunch of hand-crafted tools. In a "The Martian"-like narrative, he ...
8
votes
1answer
547 views

Could The Thing take over the world?

In the critically acclaimed horror film, The Thing, Blair determines that if the Thing was to reach civilization, it would take over all life on Earth in only 27 000 hours or a bit over three years. ...
7
votes
3answers
446 views

The plausibility of a mind-controlling and genome-altering pentastomid

CONTEXT/EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY A book that I'm currently writing called Surge features an enemy faction called the Degenerates that are heavily inspired by the Scythians (Indo-Iranian horse nomads that ...
10
votes
5answers
884 views

How plausible is a parasite that reverts hybrids back to a primal state of mind?

In the story I have been writing and asking questions for, the main conflict is parasites. What I have so far is that the parasite lives dormant inside of "pure-bred" aliens (which have softer brains),...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How to identify a new species?

If a parasitic creature was discovered, how would officials determine whether that parasite was a new species or an existing parasitic species? How long would that process take? Assume the species ...
2
votes
3answers
252 views

How could a parasitic organism spread through humans?

I have an idea for a crazy super-organism which could wipe out the human race. Essentially, it is an organism (plant or fungus or bacterium depending on what would be more effective or what would be ...
43
votes
8answers
17k views

Could a plant grow on a restrained, living human?

My question is: Could a macroscopic (e.g. visible) plant grow on a living human, provided that the human is completely immobilized?
9
votes
4answers
760 views

What conditions would lead a hyperparasite (whose host is itself a parasite) to develop civilization?

A hyperparasite is "a parasite whose host is itself a parasite" and is the closest analogy to an apex predator in the ecology of parasites. Human sociability, intelligence and status as apex predators ...
7
votes
2answers
835 views

Why would a parasite evolve sapience?

Parasite are very unusual creatures, their entire livelihood relies on an unwilling host to allow them to live, some parasite even control the creature itself! Despite this, to my knowledge, there are ...
8
votes
4answers
509 views

What's a good structure for biological parasitic mind control

So I thought up this alien parasite that enters through the mouth (usually of a predator) where it attaches to the throat and simultaneously takes control of the brain and replaces the esophagus of ...
6
votes
2answers
312 views

Alien aliens, parasitic spreading of the young

What kind of a society would exist for an intelligent species that lays it's eggs/young in a host to gestate/grow? We have the spider wasps which paralyze their prey and lay eggs. While sometimes ...