July 13, 2024

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Parasite Found in Sea Urchin’s Mouth: Still Safe to Eat?

Parasite Found in Sea Urchin’s Mouth: Still Safe to Eat?



Parasite Found in Sea Urchin’s Mouth: Still Safe to Eat?

A recent discovery in Kagoshima Bay has sparked concerns among the public about the safety of consuming sea urchins.

A previously unknown parasite was found in the mouth of a toxic sea urchin species, raising questions about potential health risks.

However, Professor Daisuke Ueno from Kagoshima University, an expert in aquatic parasitology, assures that there is no danger to humans.

The parasite, identified in the mouth of a sea urchin species called *gangaze*, belongs to the family Chondracanthidae. Named *Lantanotamunebi* due to its reddish color, this discovery was officially announced in early June in Japan.

 

Parasite Found in Sea Urchin's Mouth: Still Safe to Eat?

 

According to Professor Ueno, Lantanotamunebi is a small crustacean, similar to copepods, which are often found floating in the ocean as plankton and serve as food for fish. He explains, “Many people have probably seen the orange-colored copepods in processed products like dried whitebait.”

While *Lantanotamunebi* has uniquely adapted to live in the mouths of sea urchins, it is fundamentally similar to the organisms eaten by whitebait. Although classified as a “parasite” due to its lifestyle, it is not related to harmful parasites like Anisakis, which are known for causing severe abdominal pain. Therefore, it poses no threat to human health.

Professor Ueno emphasizes the importance of understanding that many parasites are harmless to humans and are more common in our environment than we might think. He hopes to spread awareness and understanding about these often misunderstood creatures.

Parasite Found in Sea Urchin’s Mouth: Still Safe to Eat?

(source:internet, reference only)


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