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Dung Beetles Follow the Stars

dung beetle milky way stars orient straight path

The humble dung beetle makes its living rolling big balls of excrement to feed its offspring and itself. But this lowly occupation doesn’t mean the insect doesn’t have its eye on the skies—even when the sun goes down. Recent research has shown that African ball-rolling dung beetles (Scarabaeus satyrus) use strong light cues from the [...]

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Cyborg beetles in action [video]

In the December 2010 issue of Scientific American University of California, Berkeley, scientists Michel Maharbiz and Hirotaka Sato describe how they combined off-the-shelf computer electronics with nanosurgical skill to create cyborg beetles that are part machine and part insect. During flight, the beetles respond to radio commands from the researchers. In the series of clips [...]

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World’s strongest animal effectively benches 1,000 times its body weight

strongest insect beetle weight

Even if a grown man could pull 95,000 kilograms, he still would get shown up by the newly crowned world’s strongest insect—proportionally speaking. Researchers recently discovered that this honor should go to the Onthophagus taurus dung beetle, whose strongest males can pull some 1,140 times their own body weight, the research team reported in a [...]

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SciArt of the Day: What’s Under the Hood?


Artist Mike Libby of Insect Lab Studio creates these one-of-a-kind sculptures using insects and antique pocket watch parts. Playing upon our perception of insects as somewhat robotic, Libby “lifts the hood” so we can see what really makes these bugs tick. Insect Lab Studios Mike P. Libby Portfolio (including a series – miniature satellites, full [...]

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