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Re: dino-lice

On Wed, Apr 13th, 2011 at 8:25 AM, Don Ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> But as to what is possible in terms of host-utilization -- what if 
> proboscis length mechanically limits host utilization due to 
> skin-thickness, i.e., a short-snouted chewing louse cannot bite a thick 
> skinned animal? The inverse would imply that a louse that can penetrate 
> thick skin can also penetrate thin skin, which would lower at least one 
> barrier.

Although lice adapated to thick-skinned hosts will probably make their presence 
felt on smaller, 
thinner-skinned hosts (ouch). They may also have trouble clinging to fine hairs 
if they are adapted 
to cling to larger integument.

The reverse may also be possible (small-host adapated lice moving to larger 
hosts) if they 
targeted the softer parts of the anatomy, such as around the eyes or ear 
openings. Whether or not 
they are able to cling there sufficiently is another question - although any 
large host with some sort 
of integument may well have finer fuzz in such thinner skinned areas, which 
small-host adapated 
lice might be able to make use of.


Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj