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Extreme close-up shows you how a mosquito really bites your flesh and sucks your blood

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Look at that proboscis go!

Mosquito (shutterstock)
Mosquito (shutterstock)

Usually, being bitten by a mosquito is an event that conjures up swear words and frantic itching, but more advanced souls might turn their thoughts to what exactly happens when the insect manages to get under your skin. Thanks to a video shot by researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, we now have a better idea. Their videos were featured by National Geographic and show the pretty unsettling sight of the mosquito's brown mouthparts nestled into the flesh of a mouse — but at such a close range that they're essentially unidentifiable.

Perhaps the most unusual thing to see here is how flexible the tip of the mosquito's mouthparts are — it flaps wildly back and forth searching for a suitable vein to suck from. This movement lets it search about in a wider area without having to withdraw and bite all over again. James Logan, a mosquito researcher from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine notes that while it was long believed the insect's mouthparts were flexible, seeing it in real-time "was superb." A second video shows the mosquito actually sucking some blood, and further shows off how flexible the mosquito's mouthparts are.