Hunter and Hunted


The bacterial world is one of hunter and hunted – some bacteria are the equivalents of plants – they get their make their own food and energy from light (or from chemicals).


Others are more like animals – chasing around and attacking and consuming each other.


A good example of this is the bacterium called Vampirococcus – this bacterium swims along until it finds another bacterium. Then it burrows inside the other's hard skin and effectively sucks out the innards of its prey. Another burrowing invader is the improbably named Bdellovibrio – this is the smallest predator bacterium known. It burrows under the skin of other bacteria and reproduces there until the other bacteria (dead by now) is full of ‘baby’ Bdellovibrio.


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