Monday, July 30, 2012

MAGGOTS! MAGGOTS! and more marvelous maggots!

all photos by Jonathan Schechter
ABOVE: Dead deer on the roadside in Michigan

Maggots! The world would be a messy and smelly diseased place with out them.
Maggot is a slang term and it covers the larvae of a host of species of flies.
 They are found around the world and usually appear on carrion and corpses in as little as 24 hours after death in the hot sun. 
 Michigan roadkill is usually coated with crawling maggots two days after the creatures demise and then turkey vultures descend to finish the clean up job. Medical professionals know that maggots are on their way to an established role in treating wounds.Today doctors use medicinal maggots to clean wounds by dissolving dead tissue and to disinfect them by killing bacteria.
These actions stimulate proper healing; first noted back in our Civil War when wounded soldiers were left on
bloodied battlefields and maggots saved the lives of some by cleaning out tissues.
 Ice fisherman pay for maggots to use them as bait! 
 Criminologists use maggots to determine the time of death of humans found in unusual circumstance;
different species of  flies lay eggs at different times after the last gasp is taken.
 I look at the marvelous maggots as just another wonder of ever evolving world of nature in which we are a part.

                                    The two images above are of a zebra on the sun scorched sands of Tanzania, a  very 'ripe' creature
 I encountered three years ago before my Kilimanjaro ascent.
The maggots boiled out of all orifices and the rest of the clean up was left to the scavengers.

A recently dead raccoon with flies laying eggs in the moist mouth, a perfect maggot incubator.

A freshly decapitated mouse on the Macomb Orchard (bike) Trail that flies found just after sunrise. The severed head was about six inches away.  Perhaps the work of a screech owl startled by another predator or perhaps something that only the mouse knew of. Regardless the mouse will vanish thanks to the maggots of nature.
Love'em or hate'em, we need maggots.



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