Updated Science: Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

fakescience:

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

  • As summer ends, this science from 2011 holds true: mosquito bites are, by all reports, still itchy.
Basket Star
Basket stars are a group of brittle stars that are known for their finely branched arms.
Daniel Dietrich on Flickr

Basket Star

Basket stars are a group of brittle stars that are known for their finely branched arms.

Daniel Dietrich on Flickr

Fire Urchin (Asthenosoma marisrubri)
Fire urchins live in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific. They are named for their bright red colour and the ability to inflict excruciating pain with their venomous spines. 
Daniel Dietrich on Flickr

Fire Urchin (Asthenosoma marisrubri)

Fire urchins live in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific. They are named for their bright red colour and the ability to inflict excruciating pain with their venomous spines. 

Daniel Dietrich on Flickr

Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray (Taeniura lymma)
This ray’s brightly coloured spots act as warning signals to alert other animals of its venomous tail spines. If threatened, it may strike with its tail to inflict excruciating pains. Despite this, the ray is prey to animals such as hammerhead sharks and bottlenose dolphins.
Nick Hobgood via Flickr

Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray (Taeniura lymma)

This ray’s brightly coloured spots act as warning signals to alert other animals of its venomous tail spines. If threatened, it may strike with its tail to inflict excruciating pains. Despite this, the ray is prey to animals such as hammerhead sharks and bottlenose dolphins.

Nick Hobgood via Flickr

Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera picta)
The harlequin shrimp is a species of brightly patterned shrimp known for feeding exclusively on starfish. The shrimp are skilled at flipping over starfish to expose their tube feet and soft tissues, which are eaten first. A starfish may shed its arms, but they are often too wounded to escape.
daikiki on Flickr

Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera picta)

The harlequin shrimp is a species of brightly patterned shrimp known for feeding exclusively on starfish. The shrimp are skilled at flipping over starfish to expose their tube feet and soft tissues, which are eaten first. A starfish may shed its arms, but they are often too wounded to escape.

daikiki on Flickr

Manta Rays at Cleaning Station
Due to their large size, manta rays are easy hosts for parasites. The rays have been observed to visit cleaning stations in coral reefs. These open areas are inhabited by a number of smaller fish species which pick parasites off of the ray’s body and gill slits. This relationship is an example of mutualistic symbiosis as the cleaners get an easy meal while the mantas get their parasites removed.
Boris Bialek on Flickr

Manta Rays at Cleaning Station

Due to their large size, manta rays are easy hosts for parasites. The rays have been observed to visit cleaning stations in coral reefs. These open areas are inhabited by a number of smaller fish species which pick parasites off of the ray’s body and gill slits. This relationship is an example of mutualistic symbiosis as the cleaners get an easy meal while the mantas get their parasites removed.

Boris Bialek on Flickr

Yawning Frogfish
Frogfish are poor swimmers and rely on camouflage to get close to their prey. Once within striking distance, the fish expands its oral cavity by up to 12 times in volume, creating a negative pressure that sucks prey into its mouth. This can take place in as little as 6 thousandths of a second. The fish must be able to swallow its prey whole as it does not have teeth.
Nazir Amin on Flickr

Yawning Frogfish

Frogfish are poor swimmers and rely on camouflage to get close to their prey. Once within striking distance, the fish expands its oral cavity by up to 12 times in volume, creating a negative pressure that sucks prey into its mouth. This can take place in as little as 6 thousandths of a second. The fish must be able to swallow its prey whole as it does not have teeth.

Nazir Amin on Flickr