Beetle

Beetle juice? Trees killed by bugs eyed as biofuel for cars

Publication: NBC News   Date: November 8, 2013   View Article

Millions of acres of U.S. forest lands are carpeted with stands of unsightly reddish-brown trees that were killed by voracious beetles the size of rice grains. A $10 million, five-year research program launched this week aims to determine if the beetle-killed trees can be turned into biofuel for cars and trucks without breaking the bank or exacerbating climate change, which is aiding the beetle mania.

“A crucial thing with biofuels is that we understand just how much greenhouse gases do we really offset. Because obviously if we use lots of fossil fuels or we cause lots of emissions in producing the biofuels, then we are really not gaining as much as we might hope to,” Keith Paustain, a soil ecologist who is leading the project at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, told NBC News.

10 peeks at sex in the wild

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: February 6, 2009   View Article

Birds do it, bees do it. Even female jumping spiders do it — dangerously. Check out ten ways animals get do it in the wild.

Alien Beetles Tracked with “Ray Guns,” Dental Floss

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 16, 2006   View Article

Scientists are combining space-age ray guns with dental floss to get a read on how wood-boring beetles such as the Asian longhorned beetle invade new countries.

“These pests have become a problem in the last 20 years or so because of all the foreign trade,” said David Williams, an entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Big Testes or Big Horns? It’s One or the Other for Male Beetles

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 16, 2007   View Article

Big horns or big testes? It’s one or the other for maturing male dung beetles looking to ensure reproductive success, a new study suggests.

The finding confirms a theory that beetles have evolved in response to trade-offs between the two traits.

Males of most species either get weapons to guard their access to females or a greater shot at successful insemination when they mate.

Owls Use Dung to “Fish” for Beetles

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 1, 2004   View Article

Burrowing owls have an affinity for the dung of other animals. Their underground nests and surrounding areas are carpeted with the stinky stuff. Now a team of researchers has found at least one reason why all this fecal matter matters to the owls: It’s bait for dung beetles, the owls’ favorite grub.

The research, reported in today’s issue of the science journal Nature, demonstrates that burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) deliberately use mammal dung as a tool to reel in a meal—and in the process substantially increase the number of dung beetles they eat.

For Dung Beetles, Monkey Business Is Serious Stuff

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 26, 2004   View Article

Monkey see, monkey eat, monkey doo.

So the seeds of the Amazon’s much-lauded biodiversity are spread around the rain forest, in many cases. And where there’s monkey business, so too are dung beetles, according to Kevina Vulinec, an assistant professor of wildlife ecology at Delaware State University in Dover.

Bejeweled Beetle May Inspire Synthetic Gem

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 12, 2004   View Article

The study of a weevil with an opal-like shell from the dimly-lit tropical forests of northeastern Queensland, Australia, may enable humans to more easily manufacture synthetic versions of the gem.

Understanding how the beetle manufactures the tiny structures in its scales may benefit jewelers seeking a less expensive opal and the computer and telecommunications industries seeking to manufacture tiny electronics.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach