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Old 06-18-2022, 03:31 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
23,218 posts, read 29,034,905 times
Reputation: 32621

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I've read about wars throughout history, but the role of the Mosquito never really showed up on my radar screen until reading the book The Mosquito by Tim Windegarde.

Those Mosquito/Malaria-infested Pointe Marshes in Rome saved them from invaders countless times, but at the same time, it killed a lot of Romans. Mussolini finally got around to draining those marshes.

What stopped the Romans from seizing Scotland were the mosquito/malaria infested marshes.

If camping up in northern Canada, during the summer, a swarm of mosquito's can drain half your blood in 2 hours, and those poor Caribou, what they endure.

They finally discovered quinine, which comes from the coffee plant, a plant that all insects avoid.

Millions, over time, were killed by this little terrorist call the Mosquito, which serves no function in this world but to kill!
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Old 06-18-2022, 04:04 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
5,480 posts, read 3,916,864 times
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So, according to science, roughly 100 billion people in human history have died to this point. If you broke down that 100 billion according to: war/acts of interpersonal violence, famine, infant mortality, infectious disease (insert mosquitoes here), natural causes, and 'miscellaneous health concerns' (cancer, heart disease, whatever else--we could I guess include accidents in this category)...what do you think would be the biggest killer of them all? Infectious disease is definitely way up there, although I did recently read in a book on the topic that there were 'only' 5 millionish deaths due to infectious disease worldwide in our last pre-Covid year (2019). Mosquito-borne malaria was of course high on the 2019 infectious disease-caused death list, although tuberculosis still exists and 'wins out' on that list, as far as I recall. Anyway, I'd love to see some statistically minded historian take a shot at categorizing Homo Sapiens' 100 billion deaths according to my or some other reasonable method of categorization.
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Old 06-18-2022, 05:38 AM
 
506 posts, read 476,799 times
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As far as I know, mosquitos aren't making a decision to kill humans. Diseases are just carried by them. To call mosquitos "killers" isn't right. A bear or shark kills humans. In a court, those animals could in theory be charged with murder. A mosquito would probably be charged with manslaughter at best. If you go by "killed" instead of "died" then I think humans themselves are by far the "serial killers" of their own kind.
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Old 06-18-2022, 07:59 AM
 
1,133 posts, read 610,985 times
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Mosquitos are the most annoying things on planet earth. I am a live and let live type of person, but if I can kill them all I would lol.

Even now in our relatively safe N American life, mossies can carry West Nile and the weird ass Zika.

I suspect that our changing environment (warmer, more polluted, habitat destruction and change), viruses will get more and more common.

As a species we have been messing up the world and at an accelerated rate. I think nature reacts to this imbalance.
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Old 06-18-2022, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
2,857 posts, read 2,168,427 times
Reputation: 3022
Quote:
Originally Posted by HodgePodge View Post
Mosquitos are the most annoying things on planet earth. I am a live and let live type of person, but if I can kill them all I would lol.

Even now in our relatively safe N American life, mossies can carry West Nile and the weird ass Zika.

I suspect that our changing environment (warmer, more polluted, habitat destruction and change), viruses will get more and more common.

As a species we have been messing up the world and at an accelerated rate. I think nature reacts to this imbalance.
I can't think of any important ecological role being played by those annoying flying needles.
They aren't an important food source to any other animal, don't pollinate, etc.
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Old 06-18-2022, 05:32 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
16,077 posts, read 10,735,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Quiet_One View Post
As far as I know, mosquitos aren't making a decision to kill humans. Diseases are just carried by them. To call mosquitos "killers" isn't right. A bear or shark kills humans. In a court, those animals could in theory be charged with murder. A mosquito would probably be charged with manslaughter at best. If you go by "killed" instead of "died" then I think humans themselves are by far the "serial killers" of their own kind.
I suspect the lowly flea's PR team is the source pushing the mosquito story.
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Old 06-18-2022, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Southern MN
12,040 posts, read 8,411,860 times
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Here's an interesting piece on deaths caused by animals. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...st-humans.html

Yes, where does the flea stand in all this carnage? https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/q...ague-than-wars

Apparently fleas have a fan club at the World Atlas?
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Old 06-18-2022, 11:31 PM
 
5,455 posts, read 3,384,154 times
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Malaria kills more people on Earth than any other disease. As far as I know mosquitoes are a food source for bats, birds and spiders. So they do have some reason to exist.

Italian scientists have genetically altered mosquitoes. In the experiments they seeded some altered mosquitoes in with some normal ones. When these mate, their off spring will have the mutation. Only the females bite and suck blood. Males have different "mouths". The alteration is: new females will be born with male mouths. Can't suck blood and spread malaria.

Seems to me if the female can't suck blood then she can't procreate and the species could go extinct.
Scientists are hesitant to release these insects for fear of potential harm in some unknown way.


Source
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Old 06-19-2022, 10:11 AM
 
15,424 posts, read 7,477,525 times
Reputation: 19357
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I've read about wars throughout history, but the role of the Mosquito never really showed up on my radar screen until reading the book The Mosquito by Tim Windegarde.

Those Mosquito/Malaria-infested Pointe Marshes in Rome saved them from invaders countless times, but at the same time, it killed a lot of Romans. Mussolini finally got around to draining those marshes.

What stopped the Romans from seizing Scotland were the mosquito/malaria infested marshes.

If camping up in northern Canada, during the summer, a swarm of mosquito's can drain half your blood in 2 hours, and those poor Caribou, what they endure.

They finally discovered quinine, which comes from the coffee plant, a plant that all insects avoid.

Millions, over time, were killed by this little terrorist call the Mosquito, which serves no function in this world but to kill!
Quinine comes from the bark of the cinchona tree, not the coffee tree. Coffee trees are not avoided by all insects, otherwise they would never be pollinated.

Mosquitos have caused a huge number of deaths by being a vector for various diseases, but that's not really the mosquito's fault
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Old 06-19-2022, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
23,218 posts, read 29,034,905 times
Reputation: 32621
The cinchona tree is very picky about where it's grown, it needs a certain altitude, like up in the Andean areas of Peru, from what I understand.
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