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August 12, 2012
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Circle of Life by The-Episiarch Circle of Life by The-Episiarch
A life-cycle for a fictional species of parasite, possibly from an alien world. The parasite spends its adult life anchored permanently to the outer surface of its host, while the larval stage develop in a different host species as a parasitoid. The developing larva eventually kills that host and uses it as a platform to wait for the next host to pass by. Once it detects the presence of an appropriate host species with its sensitive sensory organs, it rapidly clings on, then migrates to the appropriate site on the host's body, and develop into a reproductively-mature adult.

While the parasite and its hosts may *look* exotic, the life-cycle itself is actually downright *mundane* comparing with many of the parasites found here on Earth. In fact, the life-cycle is based heavily upon that of very common parasites which are found in every single ecosystem on this planet.

While I feel a bit guilty (and uncreative) about not coming up with a more exotic life-cycle, I guess that in itself illustrates a point - that there already exist organisms with lives and life-cycles which are more extraordinary than you can even *imagine* - and many of them can literally be lurking in your own backyard...
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