Mosquito larvae learned to eat plastic. Why is that bad?

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2018-09-19 18:00:09

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Mosquito larvae learned to eat plastic. Why is that bad?

Plastic with the undoubted advantages like convenience and versatility very badly decomposed. And pollution plastic waste in recent years has become a big problem. Recently a group of researchers from the UK during the study of mosquitoes of the genus culex found that their larvae have learned to eat plastic. And it is seriously concerned scientists.

The study says the publication Biology Letters, and leads a team of scientists Professor Amanda Callaghan of the University of reading. Studying the life cycle of the mosquito Culex pipiens (mosquito squeak or ordinary mosquito), experts selected the 150 mosquito larvae. They put them in water that contained very small pieces of plastic. In this environment, insect larvae developed, then among the entire population of randomly selected 15 larvae. It was found that, on average, each larva was kept approximately 3,000 plastic balls the size of 0.002 mm. This experiment is not over and all 150 larvae were given the opportunity to grow into adults. After that formed among the mosquitoes once again selected 15. On average, in the body of each mosquito was detected in 40 plastic balls.

Fluorescent plastic beads inside of a mosquito

This situation is extremely concerned scientists. According to Amanda Callaghan,

"mosquito Larvae ingest food big portion. It contains a variety of algae, grit and other substances of about the same size. Larvae are unable to filter out the "edible or inedible", so they fill themselves not digest plastic. And in a similar way developing larvae of many other insects. The concern is that of small insects plastic is no problem to go to the whole food chain: fish, birds, spiders, mammals and so on. In this case, toxic effects of plastic on animals can have extremely negative consequences for the whole species."

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