A tiny parasite that doesn’t breathe and lives in salmon has been discovered. Stephen Atkinson is a senior research associate at Oregon State University’s Department of Microbiology and co-authored a paper on the Henneguya salminicola. This new parasite is a myxozoan cnidarian and is related to coral and jellyfish. A defining characteristic of an animal has always included the need to breathe, but now that has changed. Scientists are unsure what the parasite does instead of breath but hypothesize that it absorbs molecules from the host. Atkinson believes this isn’t the only creature without the need to breathe and plans on researching these possibilities.
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