Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This Week In Science: Hardcore Creatures

The Human Botfly

Imagine a creature, so vile, that it would give the fauna and flora of a Shakesperean nunnery great pause. Such imagery almost describes the evil and nasty horror of our first animal, the human botfly.

The harrowing story that follows explains the rotten evil of a human botfly and why you should buy guide books when traveling. From a certain brave man, and friends, who fell victim in Costa Rica;

"Upon returning home from Costa Rica Mark started to experience a strange pain in his scrotum. He finally mentioned it to me (his wife); we talked about what it could be. Spider bite? Infected mosquito bite?"

It's important to note here that if you have strange pains in your scrotum, it's usually a good idea to give the good ol' doctor a call. Someway or another, it's bound to be trouble.

"I remember reading something in the guide book from our 1st (honeymoon) trip about a weird bug in Costa Rica. The guide book Explore Costa Rica by Harry S. Pariser said.... "'Botfly (Dermatobia hominis), whose larvae mature inside flesh. An egg-laden female botfly captures a night-flying female mosquito and glues her eggs on to it. When the mosquito is released and bites a victim, the host's body heat triggers an egg to hatch. It falls off and burrows in. The larva secures itself with two anal hooks, secreting an antibiotic into its burrow, which staves off competing bacteria and fungi. Its spiracle pokes out of the tiny hole, and a small mound forms which will grow to the size of a goose egg before the mature larva falls out.'"

In case there are any problems with visualizing such a creature, below is a picture of the cute larval botfly (live) that was inside Mark from the story.

Continue reading about the others, like the killer Box Jelly Fish and Mating Porcupines


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