Vampire so good? This animal has evolved more than 100 times for sucking blood

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 Vampire so good? This animal has evolved more than 100 times for sucking blood


Author: passer by

Production of NetEase science and technology know column group (public address: tech_163)

Recently, an exhibition themed blood sucking creatures was held in the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada, which gives visitors a glimpse of the diversity of bloodthirsty creatures around the world.

Sebastian kvist, CO curator of the exhibition, said that blood sucking may have evolved as many as 100 times in Earths history. Blood sucking animals have no common ancestor, because the behavior of blood sucking is independent in the animal population, which proves their evolutionary value.

Sucking blood is not that easy

However, it is a difficult thing to live by sucking blood. Few creatures can maintain this ability for a long time. Of the approximately 1.5 to 1.6 million recorded animals, 30000 are bloodsuckers, a very small number, kvist said. Eating blood will put great pressure on their physiology, shape and behavior.

First, there is a lack of B vitamins in the blood, and all animals need B vitamins to convert food into energy. Many bloodsuckers rely on bacteria in their bodies to provide these essential nutrients. In addition, the blood contains a lot of iron, which is toxic to most animals, but bloodsuckers have evolved to break it down.

Its not easy to get the blood of living things, so the blood sucking creatures have evolved different ways of blood sucking. For example, mosquitoes use long, thin mouthparts to pierce the skin, while some bloodsucking flies use serrated jaws to tear open the flesh. But all of these methods are likely to be detected by victims and hit. To solve this problem, some bloodsuckers have a mild anesthetic in their saliva, which helps them not to be found when they eat.

Complex relationship between bloodsucking animals and human beings

Leech bloodletting can be traced back to ancient times, when people believed that bloodletting helped balance body fluids. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, leech fever swept across Europe and America, and pharmacies even sold leeches in fancy cans.

Although medical experts no longer believe in the efficacy of leeches, leeches are still valuable in todays medicine, especially hirudin, the anticoagulant in leeches saliva. Doctors in some areas also use leeches for skin transplants or replantations of fingers, toes and other limbs.

Although leeches have long been valued for their ability to cure, some bloodsucking animals are better known for their ability to spread serious diseases. For example, some kinds of mosquitoes and ticks.

However, most bloodsuckers do not pose a serious threat to humans. In fact, bloodsuckers are essential to the health of our planet. Mosquitoes are an important source of food for birds, and leeches are also one of the food for fish. Like all species, blood eating animals, while terrifying to hear, contribute to the biodiversity of the planet.

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Source: editor in charge: Qiao JunJing, nbj11279