August 28, 2019

"New species of bloodsucking leech with three jaws and 59 teeth found outside Washington."

A WaPo headline.

AND: In other worm news, "Ancient Britons had giant worms in their kidneys, study shows" (Fox News)("It was great to find the earliest evidence for fish tapeworm, giant kidney worm, and Echinostoma worm so far discovered in Britain"). And, "‘Like spaghetti’: Worm-slurping, hopping rats discovered in the Philippines" (Mongabay)(" Once they detect an earthworm, they quickly pounce. They then brush the dirt off and swallow the worm whole, 'like a long spaghetti,' according to the scientists").

34 comments:

rehajm said...

The jokes write themselves...

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Old news. three jawed blood sucking leeches are known to slither the halls of congress.

The Godfather said...

“Fake news” in the WaPo? Who would have thunk it?

stevew said...

One more reason not to travel!

traditionalguy said...

I thought we had defeated the Clinton's swamp things. And now they turn up again. This could be the sign that its time to crank up the new Guantanamo Bay Club FED complete with Military Tribunals.

Nonapod said...

The start of a poem:

A New species of bloodsucking leech
with three jaws and 59 teeth
was found in a dark and wet heath


MacMacConnell said...

The three jaws of the blood sucking leech are known as Biden, Bernie and Warren. It's anal pore is known as Harris.

Wilbur said...

In South Florida, we call worms gusanos. Like the great Commandante Jefe Fidel referred to those who fled his communist paradise.

Ken B said...

I suggest the name
Hurdinea Bretstephens

rhhardin said...

In 24 dimensions there's the Leech lattice, useful in communications.

Fernandistein said...

The old medical leeches also had three jaws.

Fun fact: leeches are hermaphrodites.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

"...found outside Washington."

Escaped the perimeter and made it into the wild, I see.

Yancey Ward said...

I am pretty damned certain that the Capitol building is in Washington, but I will check to be sure.

Bob Boyd said...

I hope Bret Stephens sees this post. It could put being called a bedbug in perspective for him.

Bob Boyd said...

@ Nonapod

It's almost a haiku.

New bloodsucking leech
Three jaws and fifty-nine teeth
Outside Washington

Nonapod said...

Fernandistein said...
Fun fact: leeches are hermaphrodites.


So when I address a leech does that mean I have to ask what its prefered pronoun is? Him/Her/Xer?

El Supremo said...

I hate when people try to gloss over the disgusting nature of D.C. fauna.

El Supremo said...

"D.C. Fauna". That would be a great name for a blog.

Bay Area Guy said...

"New species of bloodsucking leech with three jaws and 59 teeth found outside Washington."

Sounds like my ex-Mother-in-Law.

Narr said...

Nonapod, "Mr/Ms/Xs Congressleech" is appropriate.

Narr
Wasn't there an X-Files episode about this?

Narr said...

Our 11 y.o black dackel scarfs washed-out earthworms as if we he never gets a bite at home.
Sidewalk selections-- I figure it's salty protein and probably better for him than the stuff people drop on the street. Sometimes he'll snag one out of the turf.

No ill effects so far.

Narr
Owner, West Tennessee Worm Sucking Hound

Anthony said...

Internal parasites were pretty much ubiquitous throughout human history, and pretty much everywhere else but in the developed world today. It's even possible, when you have stratified latrine deposits to track the parasitic load and types through time. The use of emetics (errrrm, at both ends) is thought to have been a way to eliminate them, at least temporarily.

Really a rather fascinating topic if you're into that sort of thing.

Robert Cook said...

"Really a rather fascinating topic if you're into that sort of thing."

It is fascinating, but gross and disturbing. My Zoology 101 prof in college specialized in parasitology, so we spend a good amount of time studying parasites and their life cycles.

(I wonder if the prevalence of internal parasites in humans prior to modern history provided any benefits to their human carriers?)

Yancey Ward said...

Jake Tapeworm Tapper!

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAORE said...

Counting Congress and the Senate, that's 536.

Snags $300k job on J Street on first day.

Blood sucking leeches eligible to be used as treatment under single source health care.

But the BSL still needs 42,000 donors to make the next Democratic debate.

Too many, too easy....

stevew said...

I read "Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures" a few years ago. Creeped me out for quite some time afterwards.

Greg said...

At least one doctor thinks a lack of human parasites is a bad thing
https://aeon.co/essays/gut-worms-were-once-a-cause-of-disease-now-they-are-a-cure

Robert Cook said...

"I read "Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures" a few years ago. Creeped me out for quite some time afterwards."

I bought that book in the (now-gone) Astor Square Barnes and Noble in NYC on 9/10/01. I read it...somewhat later. Yes, creepy but fascinating.

Michael K said...

At least one doctor thinks a lack of human parasites is a bad thing

Hookworm may suppress the immune system and help asthma,

In the developed world, declining prevalence of some parasitic infections correlates with increased incidence of allergic and autoimmune disorders. Moreover, experimental human infection with some parasitic worms confers protection against inflammatory diseases in phase 2 clinical trials. Parasitic worms manipulate the immune system by secreting immunoregulatory molecules that offer promise as a novel therapeutic modality for inflammatory diseases. We identify a protein secreted by hookworms, anti-inflammatory protein-2 (AIP-2), that suppressed airway inflammation in a mouse model of asthma,

Some parasites are really symbiotes. None, however, are found in DC,.

stevew said...

Agree Robert Cook. I read it all, truly fascinating.

Phidippus said...

re Bob Boyd's haiku:

New bloodsucking leech
Three jaws and fifty-nine teeth
Outside Washington

Nice one, Bob.

Now all we have to do is annex Greenland and Iceland (why not?) and the leech would have a tooth for every state of the US!

Josephbleau said...

Reminds me of the Graboid in the old Tremors TV show. A good representation of non LV/Tahoe Nevada basin and range life.

Seeing Red said...

If the leech had only 57 teeth, it could have had one for each state.