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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Air pollution : Better Anthropophagus evolution

Rampant use of insectecides, air pollution and pot holders have apparently selected a new emerging sub species of mosquito in Athens the capital of Greece and the cradle of western civilization.

Yahoo reports that "Cramped housing conditions and air pollution in Athens have given rise to a "super breed" of mosquito that is larger, faster and more adept at locating human prey, a Greek daily has reported.

Athens-based mosquitoes can detect humans at a distance of 25-30 metres (yards) and also distinguish colours, unlike their colour-blind counterparts elsewhere in the country that only smell blood at 15-20 metres, Ta Nea daily reported.

The "super mosquitoes" of the Greek capital also beat their wings up to 500 times a second -- compared to 350 beats for other variations -- and are larger by 0.3 microgrammes on average, the paper said, citing a study conducted by Aristotelio University in the northern city of Salonika.

According to the study, the mosquitoes of Athens have adapted to deal with air pollution and insect repellents, and overpopulation in the Greek capital of over four million has provided them with a healthy food supply.

"Mosquitoes can lay their eggs even inside the trays placed beneath thousands of balcony flowerpots," Athens University professor of zoology Anastassios Legakis told the daily.

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