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Exoskeleton

Exoskeleton

When the going gets tough, these ants explode

Weaver ants are a mean bunch. They’re not very big, but they’re highly aggressive and extremely territorial. Their main weapons are a pair of ferocious jaws; after they bite they also like to spray formic acid into the wound, just to be jerks. They go after other insects with particular…
bubmag
December 3, 2020
Exoskeleton

Leaf-Cutter Ants Have Biomineral Armor

A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Smithsonian Institution has discovered a dense layer of biogenic high-magnesium calcite in the exoskeletons of major workers of the leaf-cutter ant Acromyrmex echinatior; they’ve also found that this armor accumulates rapidly as ant workers mature and that the biomineral…
bubmag
November 26, 2020
Exoskeleton

Congratulations to the Murder Hornet Rodeo Club

First off, we need to talk about the murder hornet brand. Everything is calibrated perfectly for maximum impact. “Murder hornets.” Short, brutal in meaning and sound — even the cadence is spot on — memorable. Their international release was timed for a year full of misery and stress. Murder hornets…
bubmag
October 27, 2020
Exoskeleton

Can’t crush this: Beetle armor gives clues to tougher planes

NEW YORK (AP) — It's a beetle that can withstand bird pecks, animal stomps and even being rolled over by a Toyota Camry. Now scientists are studying what the bug’s crush-resistant shell could teach them about designing stronger planes and buildings.“This beetle is super tough," said Purdue University civil engineer…
bubmag
October 21, 2020
Exoskeleton

You can’t squish this ‘iron’ beetle. Now, scientists know why.

Home News Crush-resistant elytra — hardened exoskeletal forewings — protect the diabolical ironclad beetle against piercing and crushing predatory strikes. (Image: © David Kisalius) Diabolical ironclad beetles are almost unbreakable — you can smack them, stomp on them or run them over with a car, and they'll scamper away uncrushed.Now,…
bubmag
October 21, 2020
Exoskeleton

How to count insects from space

It’s dark. Vegetal decay hangs thick in the air, trapped beneath the rotting innards of a felled beech tree. You wedge the hard shell of your exoskeleton through softening pulp, legs clicking in rhythm with each other. Chemosensors on your antennae and mouthparts ping with a steady stream of information,…
bubmag
October 21, 2020