parasitism


parasitism

Relationship between two species in which one benefits at the expense of the other. Ectoparasites live on the body surface of the host; endoparasites live in their hosts' organs, tissues, or cells and often rely on a third organism (the carrier, or vector) to transmit them to the host. The cuckoo and cowbird practice brood parasitism, laying eggs in other birds' nests to be raised by the foster parents. In social parasitism, one type of animal parasitizes animals of the same type (e.g., one ant species on different ant species). Hyperparasitism occurs when parasites are parasitized (e.g., protozoans hyperparasitize a flea on a dog). See also predation.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on parasitism, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up parasitism? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.