Interesting facts about the flea

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  1. A flea market is a place where they sell used items: furniture, clothing, shoes and other goods that have already been in use. Such markets got their name for a reason, the purchases made here were simply infested with fleas. We can say that they were given to the buyer in the load.
  2. Banker Charles Rothschild was one of the most respected experts on fleas. In 1901, he made a trip to Egypt, where he investigated a rat flea that spreads the plague. Charles managed to collect a huge collection of fleas, which is currently kept in the British Museum. But, the life of the banker and entomologist himself ended tragically - at the age of 46, Rothschild committed suicide. He suffered from encephalitis, probably contracted during a flea study.
  3. Fleas do not spare anyone, including royalty. King Louis XIV of France, aka Louis the Great, even established a position at his court - a page for catching fleas. His main task was to hunt for parasites who dared to disturb the peace of the monarch and the persons close to him.
  4. To fight fleas, many ladies in Europe in the old days carried small animals with them: dogs, martens or ermines. Since the body temperature of these animals is higher than that of humans, bloodsuckers preferred them.
  5. Flea circuses were very popular in their day. The first mentions of them date back to the 16th century. Tiny insects staged whole performances: they pulled miniature carriages, fought with each other, ran along a string. The organizers of such performances assured that they had some special skill in training fleas.
  6. Entomologists, however, believe that the flea is incapable of training. Just her natural movements can be passed off as a stage performance.
  7. Flea circuses are now very rare. The reason is the lack of "actors". Only one species was suitable for flea performances - Pulex irritans (human flea). And it has become a great rarity, therefore, the prices for each insect have increased many times. Such performances have become unprofitable.
  8. Glaciopsyllus antarcticus is a flea species that lives in Antarctica. The body length of these fleas reaches 4 mm. Their favorite prey are the petrel, cape pigeon and Wilson's storm petrel. Interestingly, this flea species is not found anywhere except the Ice Continent. Fleas are very tenacious, they are able to stay frozen for a whole year, and then return to active life.
  9. Silk linen in Europe became popular in the Middle Ages, largely due to fleas. The slippery surface created great inconvenience for these insects - they simply slipped off.
  10. If a man of average height had the same jumping ability as a flea, he could jump 140 meters in height and 270 meters in length.
  11. Fleas are among the most ancient inhabitants of our planet. Some specimens turned out to be immured in Baltic amber, and, moreover, they fell into this captivity several million years ago.
  12. Fleas can carry more than two hundred diseases that are dangerous to humans. Therefore, humanity has been struggling for centuries with this small, but extremely unpleasant insect.