Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ed Yong on dung beetle's air-conditioning unit

here: "By filming dung beetles with a heat-sensitive camera, Jochen Smolka from Lund University has found that their dung balls aren’t just take-away meals—they’re also portable coolers."
At one stage, the article says "On hotter ground, their front feet can heat up by as much as 10°C, and that triggers them to climb onto their balls. Here’s where the adorable green mitts come in—if Smolka placed these on the beetles, their front feet didn’t heat up, and they were less likely to climb onto their balls."
An ealier study suggests that climbing onto the balls may be to orient themselves:
Ed Yong's post has quite convincing videos. Perhaps the dance on the top has at least two purposes.

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