OK, it’s a joke, the state bird of Alaska is not really the monster mosquito that is so prevalent there, but with Alaska’s climate becoming rapidly warmer, it seems like it. National Geographic reports:
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When the wind drops and the endless summer sun bakes the ponds that dot the frozen tundra, some of the Arctic’s most ferocious predators emerge and form menacing blizzards that darken the horizon – and everyone’s mood.
“It is the talk of the town when the Arctic mosquitoes are out,” says Lauren Culler, a postdoctoral researcher who studies insects in Greenland for Dartmouth College’s Institute of Arctic Studies. “There aren’t a lot of animals for them to eat in the Arctic, so when they finally find one, they are ferocious. They are relentless. They do not stop. They just keep going after you.”
Climate change, it turns out, may make that even worse.
Large, blood-sucking mosquitoes already are the bane of people, caribou, reindeer, and other mammals eking out a living in the frozen north.