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The Flea

Harold Russell

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .When a flea has a cosmopolitan range it is probable that it has travelled over the world in company with its host.

Monkeys have no fleas. This is an assertion that is commonly received with surprise and incredulity. Occasionally a gorilla or a chimpanzee may get a chigoe in its toe. And monkeys in zoological gardens or menageries are possibly exposed to the danger of catching an occasional human flea from the people who crowd round their cages. These are remote contingencies which may happen to anyone. Healthy wild monkeys are much too clean and active to harbour fleas. When they search one another’s fur in a fashion that must be familiar to most persons, they are clearing their coats of particles of scurf or of similar scraps of dirt and not of fleas. So, speaking generally, it may be said that no fleas have been found truly parasitic on monkeys.

Bats have fleas, but not in great abundance. All[13] bat-fleas are rare on their hosts and extrem. . . Read More