Friday, October 26, 2012

Beetle mittens? What a bunch of crap!

The object of our attention.
Maybe I should have used another word. How about pasture lilies? But mittens and Dung Beetle's? Give me a break.

I've seen the little bug. I've watched it do the job assigned to it by Mother Nature. I understand its role in Life. What I don't understand is why some scientist would want to put a pair of mittens on one. Why/how would this idea even come up in the crazy world of science. That's the thing about scientists. They are wild and wacky thinkers.

Jochen Smolka, Lund University, Sweden, is studying the bug Scarabaeus nigroaeneus in Africa.  He's "... found that their dung balls aren’t just take-away meals—they’re also portable coolers." So now, besides mittens we've got air conditioners? Read on.

"Smolka placed dung beetles and their balls in a sandy circular arena, etched into their
natural habitat. If he shaded the arena so it was cooler than 50°C, the beetles rolled
their balls out without pause. 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."

So we know. I still want to know how he; 1) Made the mittens. 2) Got them on those tiny little feet. No mention was made. What a way to make a living, huh?

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