Monday, July 26, 2010


I'm back home, and (predictably) back in the maelstrom of societal obligations that typifies our sedentary agricultural lifestyle. How I miss the jungle!

Except for the mosquitoes. Here's a snippet from an article I'm skimming in Nature:
Elimination of mosquitoes might make the biggest ecological difference in the Arctic tundra, home to mosquito species including Aedes impiger and Aedes nigripes. Eggs laid by the insects hatch the next year after the snow melts, and development to adults takes only 3–4 weeks. From northern Canada to Russia, there is a brief period in which they are extraordinarily abundant, in some areas forming thick clouds... 
Mosquitoes consume up to 300 millilitres of blood a day from each animal in a caribou herd, which are thought to select paths facing into the wind to escape the swarm.
Good grief. For the metrically challenged, that's a hearty glass of wine, or about 2/3 pint...

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