A Parasite is an animal that lives on or inside another animal and that feeds either on its host animal or on the food its host consumes.
The majority of parasites are much smaller than their hosts and they show a high degree of specialization for their lifestyle. Many of them have complex lifecycles involving the rapid production of huge numbers of young.
Parasites often weaken their hosts, but generally they don't kill them.
An example of a parasitic relationship is between a vertebrate host and parasites such as tapeworms or fleas.
Associated Terms: Parasitism, Parasitising