Today's Fact

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mosquitoes


Mosquitoes can smell you better at night. Science may have finally figured out why. Apparently, a chain of odorant-binding proteins (OBPs), which help mosquitoes to smell humans, accumulate in their systems in greater quantities at night.

OBPs are believed to help transport molecules to the mosquito’s olfactory receptors. In addition, the mosquitoes retain their sensitivity to odors which do not require OBPs as well as the levels of proteins that are used to smell those odors.

By using the smell of our bare skin and the carbon dioxide that we emit, mosquitoes can actually smell us from about 100 feet away.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Giraffe


Though a giraffe's heart is huge — it's 2 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds — the great height of a giraffe still makes it hard for the heart to pump blood to the brain. This problem is overcome by a series of one-way valves that force blood toward the head. Giraffes are also able to put plenty of oxygen into their blood because they have tremendous lungs — they can hold 12 gallons of air.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Head-Stealing Flies


If you like to read about bizarre insects, you may have heard of tiny flies that develop parasitically in the heads of fire ants and eventually cause the host’s entire head to drop off. They also have a close relative that takes this to a more violent extreme. The female flies of the genus Dohrniphora aren’t content to wait through a parasitic stage. They search for ants that are already injured, trapped, sick, or dying. Armed with a serrated blade on her abdomen, a female will hack and saw at the still-living ant’s neck until its head is severed. The fly drags the head away and lays her eggs inside it.

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