Are we missing out on something by not eating each other’s ticks?

A couple of days ago I had to remove a couple of ticks off a pet (The trick is you twist ’em round and round until they let go rather than popping them off with brute force and risking the head coming off in the skin)

I was not even slightly tempted to stick ’em in my mouth, but from an efficiency standpoint in a restricted calorie environment, it would be criminal not to.

Watching the experts at work, apparently biting them off directly is a valid technique

Our primate cousins engage in grooming behaviours that are always noted to be highly valuable socially – bonding, alliances, etc… are formed by grooming partners. And of course, they eat the ticks. A fed tick is mostly a bag of blood recently extracted from the animal it was attached to, so these primates aren’t just bonding by the time spent together and the pleasurable feelings of being caressed and deloused. They are literally ingesting each other’s blood.

Blood that likely contains all sorts of goodies. Hormone levels, viral particles, antibodies responding to said viruses, etc, etc…

Evolution works at all levels simultaneously all the time, it is “in” everything so it counts everything, so it’s likely this too is being counted. Do primate bands unconsciously monitor each other’s blood through grooming? Does it serve as an early warning system for their immune system when one of them is sick? Are there studies on this? Could someone please do a ph.D. on it and report back?

I’ll wait.

Have we lost something because we no longer have direct access to the blood of our nearest and dearest? Should we breed disease free GMO ticks and share them with family and friends? Or perhaps just suck each other’s blood directly, like some particularly committed Goths do. Do they know something we don’t?

I’m of course just satirizing primitivist nostalgia. Or am I? We don’t want to go back to leeches, but it is in fact true that leeches, and bloodletting, have valid medical uses.

I also found this while searching the subject so now it’s in my brain and I’d like to share the pain. I’ve only skimmed it but it appears to be Timecube tier internet strangeness (Perhaps I’m calling the pot black here).

1 comment

  1. Hi Rosten,

    Assuming Rosten is your last name, mine is similar, with ancestry in the Ukraine and travel to the U.S. in the early 1900s. I’m wondering if we might be related. You can reply to my email if you’re interested in following this up.

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