Re: Evolutionary fix of mosquitos

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Jul 15 2003 - 06:59:34 MDT

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    On Mon, Jul 14, 2003 at 07:26:36PM -0700, Spike wrote:

    > But now that I think about it, I do not recall seeing
    > mosquitos hanging around my dogs, so perhaps most
    > mammals' fur is sufficient to protect their skin.

    Apparently they have the same problems (lots of mosquito
    repellents for dogs, and they do spread diseases to them: Mosquitos seem to
    thrive on most large mammals and birds:
    Here in Sweden they likely live mostly on elks, cattle and humans.

    > This observation causes me to wonder what happened
    > to our fur? How could it have evolved away, when
    > it has so many clear advantages?

    I noted the benefits of being relatively furry when encountering
    the northern gnats - they got lost in the fur on my arms. Very

    The aquatic ape theory says it was because of water, but that
    never stopped the otters. My guess is that long distance running
    made it too hot - we developed more sweating instead. This article
    suggests it is sexual selection + demonstrating lack of parasites:,6903,972905,00.html
    This theory also suggests it was due to our development of
    shelters, fire and clothing the evolutionary pressure removed the

    Of course the *real* reason is the spread of Gruad genes, but the
    Illuminati doesn't want you to think that.

    > I favor the notion however that humans could
    > eventually eliminate mosquitos from the planet,
    > should we determine to do water control correctly.
    > Perhaps this attitude comes from having grown up in
    > Florida, where the old-timers would absolutely marvel
    > at how successful the state's mosquito control efforts
    > have been. They have not been eradicated, but the
    > absolute number of mosquitos has dropped to perhaps
    > 10% what they were in the 1920s. I may be wrong but
    > my perception is that the problem has dropped in half
    > since my own childhood in the 60s. Water control is
    > the key to bug control. spike

    Yes. But managing the ecosystem without them is somewhat tricky.
    All those flying pests also provide significant amount of food for
    various neat birds. While some mosquito species aren't keystone
    and just spread disease and annoyance, others are hard to remove
    without having to remodel plenty of other species.

    I wouldn't mind becoming invisible to all insects, that would
    probably be the best solution: no risk from overly curious wasps,
    hungry mosquitos, generally annoying flies and their relatives and
    ants when observing them. Hmm, is there a way to confuse compound
    eyes? Maybe one could set up destructive interference through some
    patterns (Zebras? flickering light?).

    Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
    GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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