HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Vanishing beetle horns have surprise function

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The function of horned beetles' wild protrusions has been a matter of some consternation for biologists. Digging seemed plausible; combat and mate selection, more likely. Even Charles Darwin once weighed in on the matter, suggesting -- one imagines with some frustration -- the horns were merely ornamental.

In this month's American Naturalist (Dec. 2006) and the Nov. 2006 issue of Evolution, Indiana University Bloomington scientists present an entirely new function for the horns: during their development, Onthophagus horned beetles use their young horns as a sort of can opener, helping them bust out of thick larval shells.

The finding will surprise anyone who assumed hornless Onthophagus adults (usually the females) never form the horns in the first place. They do, the scientists say, but the nubile horn tissue is reabsorbed before the beetles' emergence as adults.

"The formation of horns by beetle pupas that soon lose them just doesn't seem to make sense, so obviously we were intrigued," said IU Bloomington evolutionary biologist Armin Moczek, lead author of both papers. "It appears these pre-adult horns are not a vestigial type of structure, which many of us thought was the case. Instead we have shown these horns actually serve an important function regardless of whether they are resorbed in the pupal stage or maintained into the adult."

Because all the Onthophagus beetles the scientists examined form horns during development, Moczek and colleagues also argue the evolution of ornate horns in the adult beetles may actually have happened second -- that is, some time after their initial evolution as larval molting devices.

In the Evolution report, the scientists examined literature describing the evolutionary relationship of 47 Onthophagus species. They also studied the development of eight beetle species in the laboratory (seven Onthophagus species and one species from the closely related
'"/>

Contact: David Bricker
brickerd@indiana.edu
812-856-9035
Indiana University
4-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. The beetles dilemma
2. Rove beetles act as warning signs for clear-cutting consequences
3. Minister Lunn announces $39.6M for next phase of mountain pine beetle response
4. Hives ferment a yeasty brew, attract beetle pest
5. Canadas new government invests $200M in the fight against the mountain pine beetle
6. Better beetle sought for salt cedar control
7. New study explores beetle species with two forms of females
8. K-State professors discover enzyme responsible for creation of a beetles hard shell
9. Researchers discover key gene involved in bark beetle pheromone production
10. Slime-mold beetles named for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld
11. Researchers find three major beetle groups coming up one testis short

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/13/2018)... ... 13, 2018 , ... Kenall has enhanced the popular MedMaster MAEC Series LED ... linear overbed luminaires are equipped with symmetric ambient and asymmetric exam modes, and an ... Intended to be specified in pairs, the MAEC is 8” x 48” and has ...
(Date:11/9/2018)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... November 08, 2018 , ... ... with advanced touch screen control. Heating blocks, also known as dry bath incubators ... variety of tubes and containers. , For the new heating blocks, Boekel ...
(Date:11/7/2018)... ... 2018 , ... uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, announces ... within the Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver, to its Scientific Advisory ... Dr. Lozupone will bring to uBiome an expertise on the factors that shape ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/5/2018)... ... November 05, 2018 , ... USARAD Holdings Inc., the leading ... several healthcare VC firms announces at Distributed Health 2018 conference November 5-6 (Nashville, ... tokens and obtaining its first radiology interpretations, one of the first known true ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... November 01, 2018 , ... Come to Princeton Nov. 14 ... Advisor, Division of Clinical Compliance Evaluation, CDER, FDA will be presenting on using ... What should clinical research industry stakeholders keep in mind when implementing and managing ...
(Date:10/31/2018)... ... October 30, 2018 , ... ... trial at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. This study enrolled 125 ... standard of care for managing pain after total knee replacement surgery (TKA). , ...
(Date:10/31/2018)... ... October 30, 2018 , ... Today, the National Corn ... goal of this global competition is to find new and innovative uses of field ... corn farmers produced 14.6 billion bushels of corn and are on pace to produce ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: