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|109213. Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:11 pm
|Q: What might a wolf do to a squirrel?
F: Eat it
A: Live in it, and then shrink it's testicles
A type of fly known as the 'botfly', 'warble fly', or ‘wolf’ grows inside squirrels, cats and dogs. The species name is Cuterebra emasculator, or 'Castration Fly'.
The female warble fly lays her eggs near the nest or on the fur of the
squirrel. After hatching, the grub-like larvae of the botfly starts to live in the cavities of its connective tissue.
According to Jack O'Brien, Assist. Professor of the University of South Alabama:
|These cavities possess an opening to the outside which provides oxygen to the developing fly larvae. To complete development, larvae emerge from the warble, drop into leaf litter at the base of trees and pupate. Although the warbles look disgusting, they apparently do little harm to the squirrel (other than form unsightful scars--the warbles rarely become infected with bacteria) if they are located on the shoulder region. The species name – the EMASCULATOR - however, comes from the effect caused by warbles forming near the testicles of male squirrels. The subcutaneous swelling caused by the warbles somehow prevents full development of the squirrel's testicles; the reproductive capabilities of female squirrels are apparently unaffected. |
While we are on the subject of squirrel’s testicles, it is quite interesting to note that outside of the mating season, the testicles of male squirrels shrink in size from seven grams to one gram so they look like they have been castrated.
One man has injected himself with squirrel testicles:
In the year of his death, physician Dr Horace Emmett (1810-1889) went to lecture at the Biology Society of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
He announced that he had discovered the elixir of eternal youth by grinding up the testicles of red squirrels, and then injecting himself with the pulp.
Amongst his outlandish claims was that he felt 30 years younger and was able to 'visit' his wife every day, without fail.
Emmett's lecture had a powerful effect on the medical world, but only briefly.
Two months after the lecture, Emmett's wife left him for a younger man, and after that he died of a cerebral haemorrhage.
In 2005, someone on eBay put a perfectly preserved pair of squirrel testicles up for sale.
"Genuine dried squirrel scrotum preserved in all its glory. Perfect gift for that special someone who has everything - everything except some balls," reads the description.
The testicles were presented in a 7.5cm tall miniature apothecary glass jar "preserved for years of entertainment".
They were bought for a mere £40.
Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics - William Donaldson
The West Australian, 25 January 2005
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