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Pythons
Space and Astronomy
A Planet from the Early Universe
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Slip-sliding away
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Machine Copy
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Weaving with Light
The Parts of Speech
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Weather
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Mosquitos

The mosquito is an insect with a pair of scaled wings, a slender body, and long legs. The females of most mosquito species suck blood from other animals. Their overall Size varies, but is rarely greater than 15 mm (0.6 inch). Mosquitoes weigh only about 2 to 2.5 mg, and can fly at about 1.5 to 2.5 km/h (0.9 to 1.6 mph), with most species being nocturnal. Don't Scratch: Mosquitos are principally nectar feeders with only the females requiring a meal of blood. The female mosquito (in almost all species) sucks the blood of mammals, including humans. Mosquito bites often swell up hours after happening, causing a red ringed white bump about a centimeter in diameter. This bump can itch for days and over-scratching the bite can cause it to bleed. Mosquito bites can transmit diseases, such as malaria and West Nile Virus, so authorities in many areas take measures to reduce mosquito populations through pesticides or more organic means. An easy way to reduce mosquito populations in a residential area is the removal of standing water (where mosquitoes breed), and the use of repellents, such as DEET. Smells Good: The females of blood sucking species locate their victims primarily through scent. They are extremely sensitive to the carbon dioxide in exhaled breath, as well as several substances found in sweat. Some people seem to attract mosquitoes more than others, with certain factors making individuals a more likely candidate for a bite: Being male, being overweight, and having type 'O' blood. Mosquitoes can detect heat, so they can find warm-blooded mammals and birds very easily once they get close enough. Public Health: In much of the world, mosquitoes are a major public health problem; they are estimated to transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually, and will be responsible for the deaths of about 1 in 17 people currently alive. In New Zealand, the UK, Scandinavia,the United States and other temperate countries, mosquito bites are mostly just a nuisance. Vampire Bite: A mosquito's period of feeding is often undetected; the bite only becomes apparent because of the immune reaction it provokes. When a mosquito bites a human, she injects saliva and anti-coagulants. For any given individual, with the initial bite there is no reaction but with subsequent bites the body's immune system develops antibodies and a bite becomes inflamed and itchy within 24 hours. This is the usual reaction in young children. With more bites, the sensitivity of the human immune system increases, and an itchy red hive appears in minutes where the immune response has broken capillary blood vessels and fluid has collected under the skin. This type of reaction is common in older children and adults. Some adults can become desensitized to mosquitoes and have little or no reaction to their bites, while others can become hyper-sensitive with bites causing large and painful red welts. The Circle of Life: The mosquito undergoes complete metamorphosis, going through four distinct stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The length of the first three stages is dependent on the species and temperature. Some species have a life cycle of as little as four days or up to one month. The larvae are the "wrigglers" or "wigglers" found in puddles or water-filled containers. Most larvae feed on microorganisms, but a few are predatory on other mosquito larvae. Some mosquito larvae, live in unusual situations, surviving in the water collected inside carnivorous pitcher plants.

Mosquitos
Mosquitos








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