Heterotrophic nutrition is a type of nutrition where an organism consumes or lives off of another living organism. Parasites are defined as organisms that live inside their hosts and consume their food sources. The fact that parasites frequently obtain their nutrients and energy directly from the host can be detrimental to the health of the host organism and even result in the host’s death. As the host organism provides nutrition, energy, food, and shelter, parasites are entirely reliant on their hosts to survive.
An animal or a plant can serve as the host organism. Lice on human heads, tapeworms, Cuscuta plants, and barnacles are typical examples of parasites.
There are two different types of parasites:
These parasites live outside the host’s body and feed and get their energy from the living thing. Ectoparasites include things like bedbugs, lice, ticks, and mosquitoes.
These parasites stay inside the host organism’s body and feed and get their energy from it. Ascaris, Plasmodium vivax, tapeworms, and other parasites are examples of endoparasites.
The Cymothoa exigua, also known as the poise that eats tongues, is an illustration of a highly unusual parasite. This parasite, which mainly lives in the fish Lithognathus’ mouth, prevents the tongue from receiving blood. Consequently, totally sever it off, causing it to fall off. The parasite continues by attaching itself to the patient’s remaining tongue.