Going with the flow of the stream of the last post – How to get there is the question – into the realms consciousness and possible evolution of the species achieving a higher plane of ‘being’ in general, caused Java to mull over some of the aspects of what Darwin (Charles, not the Domestic Goddess on Kottu) set in motion. We were walking the dogs and I had to stop for a moment pick a leech (Haemadipsa zeylenica) off my foot, which must have triggered the spark.

Heeeyy maaann, if all creachures be evolvin to serve som purpose an keep dat balance in nachure happenin, what do yo tink dat da purpose of dese leeches an pests like mosquitoes an sheet like dem be servin?

I had to admit to him that I had never really thought much about it, but no doubt there would have to be a pretty good reason for the survival of the creatures he mentioned. Natural Selection, as Darwin described it, ensured the survival of those organisms that adapted best to their environmental conditions – the ‘balance of nature’ being struck as a result. I supposed (to Java) that in addition to leeches and mosquitoes providing a source of food for other creatures, they would undoubtedly serve other purposes as well. I brought up the example of Malaria, which still causes around three-million deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa each year and has been doing so through the centuries in other parts of the world as well. Caused by the Anopheles mosquito, the whole process generated by the mosquito’s bite sets in motion all sorts of micro-organismic activity. Here’s a short extract from Wikipedia that may help with a description of what I am on about:

The parasite’s primary (definitive) hosts and transmission vectors are female mosquitoes of the Anopheles genus. Young mosquitoes first ingest the malaria parasite by feeding on an infected human carrier and the infected Anopheles mosquitoes carry Plasmodium sporozoites in their salivary glands. A mosquito becomes infected when it takes a blood meal from an infected human. Once ingested, the parasite gametocytes taken up in the blood will further differentiate into male or female gametes and then fuse in the mosquito gut. This produces an ookinete that penetrates the gut lining and produces an oocyst in the gut wall. When the oocyst ruptures, it releases sporozoites that migrate through the mosquito’s body to the salivary glands, where they are then ready to infect a new human host.

Check out all the other micro-organisms that are created by the mozzie bite – a fascinating chain of events that cause the deaths of millions – mostly children. And so, I ‘lectured’ Java, it would appear that the mosquito played a major part in reducing the numbers of children in various parts of the world. The incidence being mostly in third-world African, Asian and Latin American countries provides other grounds for hypothesising the reasons for this Malaria ‘belt’ stretching across the globe in just those countries. And if you take a look at the map, it does seem to be a logical extension of the geographical, social and cultural conditions, with poverty being a major contributory factor, effectively providing the right environment for Anopheles to act as a means of population control. And perhaps that was part of the ‘nature’s balancing act’ number with mosquitoes!  

I could see that Java was considering my explanation, although I had no idea how well it would hold up in a discussion with ‘experts’ on the subject. The walk continued – Sally was on a leash, as she had entered her very first heat and had Buzzie and Rock in a tizzy in spite of them being neutered. We skirted the pond, as Sally, who was undoubtedly an otter in her last incarnation, would want to leap in and frolic in the water as usual. We made our way back to the house, and as Java got the sound going with The Incredible String Band doing The Circle is Unbroken and started to get his fixins together to start off his day, he said, as if in afterthought:

Shheeet bro, I guess even dem mozzies have dere purpose, huh?

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