Mosquitoes and the mesocyclops
It is often incorrectly quoted that mosquitoes kill more people than any other animal. Actually, it is not mosquitoes that kill people but the parasite they carry that causes malaria.
Approximately 200 million people worldwide are affected by malaria and about 500,000 die from it every year.
The greatest known outbreak of malaria happened in the 1920s in Russia when 13 million people were effected and 600,000 died.
It also proved that mosquitoes can thrive in cold temperatures. Mosquitoes are abundant in the Arctic… but not in Antarctica.
Malaria is caused by single-celled microorganisms parasite of the Plasmodium group that usually is spread by an infected female Anopheles gambiae mosquito. The disease affects humans and animals.
There are about 380 species of mosquito, but only 60 transmit the parasite.
Tiny little help at hand
Australian and Vietnamese scientists use the mesocyclops, a tiny one-eyed shrimp-like creature, to combat mosquitoes successfully. Wherever they are placed, the mesocyclops destroy between 96% and 100% of the mosquitoes.
Wild, wild world
Hippos kill more people than any other wild animal, even lions and tigers – or sharks. Even crocodiles kill more people than sharks. The reptile that kills most people is the snake.
World Mosquito Day is observed on 20 August.