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Thu, Dec 17

The animals that live on our faces

The history of humanity’s grand sweep around the world is recorded in our genes and genealogies, our art and artifacts, our literature and languages.

It’s also written in the legions of tiny mites that live, eat, crawl, and have sex on your face.

There are two species of mites that live on human faces. Both look like wall plugs with legs, although one (Demodex folliculorum) is longer and rounder of bottom than the other (Demodex brevis). “Demodex” means “the worm that bores into fat,” which gives you a clue about their lifestyles. They bury head-down into our hair follicles, slurping up the oils we secrete.

Read the story at The Atlantic after the jump.