Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fleas for today

Every so often, I have a random thought, which, when time allows, I indulge.

Today, I considered fleas.

Not that I have any.

Fleas most likely had wings at some point in their evolution, and wreaked their annoyance in the manner of the modern mosquito.

According to one website I visited, http://www.mahahounds.org/flea.htm, the bouncy stuff in their legs is the most rubbery substance known.

Each type of flea has a host for which its obnoxious little body is perfectly suited. It tends to jump to just the right height to hitch a ride on said host -- a little jump for a rat flea, a taller jump for a pig flea.

Pig fleas made the leap long ago to people, when we started breeding the porcine beasties for bacon and such -- we don't really have a flea to call our own. I'm not Jewish, but seems if we'd all listened to Moses long ago, that evolutionary road might never have been traveled down.

Last thought on this itchy subject: Since parasites such as fleas require a host to exist, and some evolutionary time to perfect their parasitism, there must have been some blissful period in the history of terrestrial evolution that was pest free.

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