Author Topic: Newly Discovered Beetle Bites an Ant’s Waist and Pretends to be Its Butt  (Read 160 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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I don't remembering hearing about this on the SGU

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/02/the-beetle-that-pretends-to-be-an-army-ants-butt/516522/

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This Beetle Bites an Ant’s Waist and Pretends to be Its Butt

Army ants are so vast in their legions, and so destructive in their appetites, that they have been billed as “nature’s Mongol’s hordes” and “the Huns and Tartars of the insect world.” The comparison in apt. But then again, neither Genghis Khan nor Atilla the Hun rode around with people sitting behind them, clamped around their waists, pretending to be their butt.

Eciton burchellii, the best-studied species of army ant, does have one such hanger-on. It’s a newly discovered beetle that hitchhikes on ants by clamping its jaws around their waists. This bizarre stowaway is red and spherical—exactly like the ant’s backside. From above, the ant looks normal. From the side, it looks like it has a bustle. A prosthetic posterior. A gluteus extraneous. A beetlebum.


"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Ewww...  I mean cool.
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Online Desert Fox

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Ewww...  I mean cool.

I think something can be both at the same time  ;D
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

 

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