What animal kills the most people? Lions? Tigers? Bears? OH, MY!?
Nope. None of those are the right answer. The answer is an animal that is ubiquitous across the world, simultaneously hated and feared. Killing over 1 million people each year and living on every continent except Antarctica, the deadliest animal is… the mosquito?!
Allow us to explain.
While male mosquitoes live off of plant nectar, female mosquitoes need the protein from blood in order to lay their eggs.
A female mosquito retrieves the blood by sticking her proboscis (think mosquito needle) into our flesh. Blood is drawn and she inserts some of her saliva, along with anticoagulants, to keep the blood from clotting.
This is where potential danger comes into play – the mosquito saliva can contain viruses and parasites.
These little bastards are notorious for transmitting diseases (think of Malaria, or more recently, Zika). Interestingly, various types of mosquitos transmit different diseases – the most common belonging to the genera Aedes (Dengue and Yellow Fever), Anopholes (Malaria and Canine heartworm), and Culex (West Nile, Encephalitis and Avian Malaria).
Moral of the story: bug spray is your friend.