All informations are collected from Pour la Science, October's number
We all know lice, right? Most of us, at a certain stage of their lives, had to deal with lice issues. But did you know that the difference between head lice and body lice? Well of course there's the fact that one live in the head and the other live on the skin of the rest of the body… Duh.
But the scientifically interesting aspect of this duality is the fact that both belong to the same specie but can't reproduce together. They belong to 2 different sub-species:
- Pediculus humanus humanus (body)
- Pediculus humanus capitis (head)
In general, capitis and humanus should be able to breed, since they belong to the same specie like the different races of humans but this is an exception, as there are many exceptions in nature.
Pretty cool, huh? But that's an off-topic, because that's not what I'm here to talk to you about. Let's get to the point:
Lice are parasites, and parasites can tell us about our past, judging from the divergence of the parasites you can get information about the intimacy of the hosts.
example #1 studies have shown that Pediculus humanus humanus was born in Africa some 70 000 years ago, Human race is believed to have left Africa slightly before that date
example #2 Human lice and Chimpanzee lice diverted some 5,6 millions years ago… That's when humans and chimps diverted too
But here's the riddle:
Pubic tics are not part of the Pediculus humanus… It's a Phtirus, Phtirus pubis, but it's the same order. Well, guess who's it's closest relative to our pubic friend? It's our friend Phtirus gorillae
Why would our Pubic lice be related to Gorilla lice? And they accuse Arabs of being goat fuckers!