VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Flea circus. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human flea (Pulex irritans) "juggling" a slice of pith. The flea is a performer in Hans Mathes' Flea Circus, where trained fleas perform a range of tricks and stunts. This flea is a "juggler". A wire loop harness (blue) is secured over its head and behind its front legs. The harnessed flea clings to a slice of fruit pith (brown, lower right). When its legs contact the pith, it walks along the edge in a reflex action. The pith turns and appears to be juggled by the flea. The circus performs to audiences at the Munich Oktoberfest in Germany, for two weeks a year. Magnification unknown.
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