Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Pubic lice and Gorillas

It appears that early man got more than meat from hunting gorillas. In an article from the Journal of Biology, Robin Weiss discusses the origin of the human pubic louse Pthirus pubis, actually came from Gorillas. Sequence comparisons between Pthirus pubis and the gorilla louse Pthirus gorillae, reveal that the two species split from each other 3.3 million years ago, at least 4 million years after the human-gorilla split from their most recent common ancestor. Obviously this could make for an awkward conversation with the respective humans other half, but not to worry as Weiss hypothesis’ that early man would of picked up the louse whilst butchering gorilla meat in a similar fashion to how the whale louse will crawl onto your hand when you touch a colonized whale.

Weiss, R.A., Journal of Biology 2009, 8:20

1 comment:

emmat said...

ha ha ha
(going away smirking about this)