Pictures taken just recently in Northwest Alaska show about 300,000 caribou getting as close as possible to each other, not because it was time for a group hug, but because they were trying to protect themselves from pests.
Apparently, the insects in this part of the world can be much more of a nuisance than our urban and country-side ones are, seeing how they tend to use the caribou as living incubators for their future larvae.
Wildlife biologists Kyle Joly offers us a very vivid image of the risks caribou are faced with should they not resort to such measures: warbles deposit eggs on the animal's sides, and bots do so inside these animals' nostrils.
As zoologists explain, by forming such compact groups the caribou limit the insect exposure rates for each of them. Naturally, those with middle-seats are the luckiest.