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...

    Balanced Diet
    A Balanced Diet – Minerals and Proteins

    Proteins and minerals can be derived from various dietary sources. They are essential for the proper growth and developm..

    Young plant growing from the soil.
    Soils

    Nutrients in the soil are essential to the proper growth of a land plant. This tutorial deals with the properties of soi..

    Origins of Life on Earth
    Origins of Life on Earth

    Earth was created around 4.5 billion years ago and life began not long after. Primitive life likely possessed the elemen..

    Genetic Mutations
    Chromosome Mutations – II

    This tutorial is a continuation of the first lesson on chromosomal mutation. Here, find out the chromosomal aberrations ..

    green plant cells
    Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells

    Plant cells have plastids essential in photosynthesis. They also have an additional layer called cell wall on their cell..

    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..