A Flea S Fantastic Jump Takes More Than Muscle Deep Look

Before they can bite your cat or dog, these little "itch hikers" make an amazing leap 100 times faster than the blink of an eye. So how do they do it? Follow Lauren Sommer in her new job at NPR: https://www.npr.org/people/803934365/lauren-sommer Please join our community on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/deeplook DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small. --- Spring is here, and with it, the start of flea season. With the warming weather, people and their pets are spending more time outside — which increases the chances of bringing home a hungry “itch hiker.” While pet owners curse the tiny insects and look for a way to rid them from their homes, it turns out fleas actually perform some remarkable athletic feats, like jumping 50 times their height — the equivalent of a human jumping 300 feet — or leaping so fast that they take off 100 times faster than the blink of an eye. No larger than a sesame seed and flattened side to side, fleas can slip through fur with ease. Their jump is so fast they seem to simply vanish and reappear somewhere else. “It's there and then it's gone,” said Gregory Sutton, a professor of biomechanics at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom. --- What do flea eggs look like? After feeding on blood, adult fleas mate and lay eggs. The eggs drop out of their host animal’s fur or feathers and into their bedding or nest. The eggs are translucent white and very small. At 0.5mm the eggs are about the size of a grain of salt. --- Why do fleas bite me? Blood is a protein-rich food for fleas. Adult fleas feed on blood before they can procreate. --- Why does my dog/cat keep getting fleas? Fleas are nest parasites. Their eggs fall from the host animal into its bedding where they hatch. The worm-like larvae feed on organic debris (including the adult fleas’ feces) in the bedding. They then curl up into a cocoon and undergo metamorphosis into their adult form. Flea baths tend to kill the fleas currently on the pet, but there may still be flea eggs and larvae in the pet’s bedding. When those young fleas mature they may reinfest the pet. ---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science: https://www.kqed.org/science/1957872/a-fleas-fantastic-jump-takes-more-than-muscle ---+ For more information: Why do Large Animals Never Actuate Their Jumps with Latch-Mediated Springs? Because They can Jump Higher Without Them. (Gregory P Sutton, Elizabeth Mendoza, Emanuel Azizi, Sarah J Longo, Jeffrey P Olberding, Mark Ilton, Sheila N Patek) https://academic.oup.com/icb/article/59/6/1609/5545545 ---+ Shoutout! 🏆Congratulations 🏆to the following fans on our YouTube community tab who identified the colorful crustacean that stores energy and releases a powerful punch using the same mechanism that fleas use to jumpstart their jump: the mantis shrimp! The Chicken Wizard Skunky H Shin M. Soren Rohrbach kick Blade ---+ Thank you to our Top Patreon Supporters ($10+ per month)! Accailia Alex Amber Miller Aurora Aurora Mitchell Bethany Bill Cass Blanca Vides Burt Humburg Caitlin McDonough Carlos Carrasco Chris B Emrick Chris Murphy Cindy McGill Companion Cube Daisuke Goto dane rosseter Daniel Weinstein David Deshpande Dean Skoglund Edwin Rivas Egg-Roll Elizabeth Ann Ditz Geidi Rodriguez Gerardo Alfaro Guillaume Morin Jane Orbuch Joao Ascensao johanna reis Johnnyonnyful Josh Kuroda Joshua Murallon Robertson Justin Bull Kallie Moore Karen Reynolds Kendall Rasmussen Kristy Freeman KW Kyle Fisher Laura Sanborn Laurel Przybylski Leonhardt Wille Levi Cai liilscootscoot Louis O'Neill luna Mary Truland monoirre Natalie Banach Nathan Wright Nicolette Ray Noreen Herrington Osbaldo Olvera Pamela Parker Rena G Richard Shalumov Rick Wong Robert Amling Robert Warner Roberta K Wright Sarah Khalida Mohamad Sayantan Dasgupta Sharon Merritt Shelley Pearson Cranshaw Silvan Wendland Sonia Tanlimco SueEllen McCann Supernovabetty Syniurge Tea Torvinen TierZoo Titania Juang Trae Wright Two Box Fish WhatzGames ---+ Follow KQED Science and Deep Look: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/deeplook Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kqedscience/ Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kqedscience KQED Science on kqed.org: http://www.kqed.org/science Facebook Watch: https://www.facebook.com/DeepLookPBS/ ---+ About KQED KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media. Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is also supported by the National Science Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation, Campaign 21 and the members of KQED.

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