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Close to half of all animals in the world are parasites. According to a study by Chelsea Wood, a parasite ecologist at the University of Washington, 10 percent of parasites are on the verge of extinction. The study pinpoints climate change, intentional attempts at eradication, and the extinction of their hosts.

However, it appears that few people care or even notice. A report by National Geographic says that in over 37,000 species that are marked as endangered in the IUCN red list, only some freshwater mussels and a single louse are identified as parasites.

A parasite, by definition, lives in or on a host and takes something from it. This has earned them the title of pariahs of the animal world.

Not all parasites deserve to die.

Nevertheless, not all parasites pose a danger to their hosts, and only a handful impact human beings. As a result, scientists have warned of profound implications if the rest are disregarded.

There are so many things to learn about parasites, including how humans can use them for their own needs, for example, medicinal leeches. Parasites can also be used in some surgeries, although surgeons are beginning to appreciate their roles in the ecosystem.

When one observes a landscape, be it the African savanna or the Australian coral reef, all they see are host species such as lions and zebras. However, these species are home to countless other animals hiding from the humans’ sight.

 About 40 percent of these animals are regarded as parasites, and this number only represents the ones that have been described. Scientists now believe that only about 10 percent of all parasites leave possibly millions more to be discovered.

Most animals are hosts.

Parasitic wasps are the most populous and outnumber any other group of animals. It appears that most animals host many other types of animals. For example, in the case of humans, despite trying to be inhospitable by killing the parasites, they still make great hosts.