People caught pubic lice from gorillas

GorillaNo, it’s not some kind of deviant gorillas in the mist story, apparently, millions of years ago our ancestors picked up pubic lice (crabs) either by sleeping in gorilla nests (without the gorilla) or through eating our silver-backed cousins. David Reed and colleagues at the University of Florida publish details of their findings today in BMC Biology journal.

Reed is quick to point out that there was no monkey business between gorillas and humans. Of course gorillas are apes not monkeys, but this would be a perfect story for Ricky Gervais podcast star Karl Pilkington. “It certainly wouldn’t have to be what many people are going to immediately assume it might have been, and that is sexual intercourse occurring between humans and gorillas,” Reed says, “Instead of something sordid, it could easily have stemmed from an activity that was considerably more tame.”

Reed suggests that 3.3 million years ago, gorilla lice took up residence in the pubic region in our ancestors, this was probably around the same time that evolution took us from a fully hirsute state to our current nakedness. With no hair on our bodies other than the head and pubic regions, the lice would have been hard pushed to linger anywhere else.

13 thoughts on “People caught pubic lice from gorillas”

  1. Pubic crabs feed on human blood. To maintain their food supply, they attach themselves to the base of the pubic hair shafts and bite or pierce the skin to extract the blood. These bite marks cause the initial symptom of itchiness. If the problem is not diagnosed and treated at this early stage the female lice will rapidly multiply (eggs will hatch within a week) and cause the feeding to increase and the itchiness and irritation to intensify.

  2. Im sure that the number is unpredictable for we can cure this STD.
    Hmmm I wonder if they had a pharmacy near them hehe.
    Gorillas didn’t have to have any sexual contact with a human in order to get crabs it can also be passed threw clothes and such so just wash ur clothes and dont have any sexual contact and then ur crab free.
    Im doing a report on this so im giving what i know about this STD :)

  3. wow pubic lice from a gorilla we have more in common then i thought lol well not me i have non but anyway how many people in the U.S have this

  4. Yes, not the most pleasant of subjects under discussion here. More of the same to come…

  5. Hmmmm….sorry Jim Lee Science, I would have expected a slightly more insightful response given your surname. What? That’s not your real name? Surely…

  6. Yes, we really need to figure how to stop this madness and people in this world need to stop sleeping with animals so we will stop catching crabs and lice.

  7. Yes Mitch, obviously, what I meant to say was “the pubic region of our ancestors”! Fixed.

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