Dictionary > Kleptoparasitism

Kleptoparasitism

Definition
noun
A form of parasitism wherein an animal takes food or objects collected, caught, prepared, or stored by another animal
Supplement
Parasitism is one of the many forms of symbiosis. In parasitism, one organism (called parasite) benefits at the expense of another organism usually of different species (called host). The parasite benefits at the expense of the host organism. A special form of parasitism is called kleptoparasitism. It is a form of parasitism in which an animal steals food or objects collected, caught, prepared, or stored by another animal. The parasite (in this regard, called kleptoparasite) may be from the same species as the victim. In this case, it is described as intraspecific. Or, it may be from a different species, and as such is described as interspecific. An example of an intraspecific kleptoparasitism is the young oystercatchers that take food (mussels) from adult oystercatchers due to the former’s yet inadequate skills to open mussels easily. An interspecific kleptoparasitism is exemplified by gulls stealing food (fish) from diving birds since gulls are unable to dive through the sea floor. Apart from food, kleptoparasites take objects from other animals. For instance, the chinstrap penguins steal rocks and other materials for nest building from members of their colony.
Variant(s):

  • cleptoparasitism

See also:

  • parasitism
  • parasite


  • You will also like...

    Salmon jumping upstream in the river
    Lotic Communities & Animals

    A running water environment offers numerous microhabitats for many types of animals. Similar to plants, animals in lotic..

    Plant Water Regulation
    Plant Water Regulation

    Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

    Neural Control Mechanisms
    Neural Control Mechanisms

    Neurons generate electric signals that they pass along to the other neurons or target tissues. In this tutorial, you wil..

    Human Neurology
    Human Neurology

    Human Neurology deals essentially with the nervous system of humans. It also features the various theories put forward b..

    Adaptive Radiation
    Adaptive Radiation

    The diversification of several new species from a recent ancestral source, each adapted to utilize or occupy a vacant ad..

    Freshwater aquatic plankton
    Freshwater Communities & Plankton

    Planktons are microscopic organisms that live suspended in aquatic habitats. There are two groups: the phytoplanktons an..