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:1/10/2019)... BOSTON (PRWEB) , ... January 10, 2019 , ... When ... company Asymmetrex , was invited to contribute a chapter to the new book ... “I wanted to continue Asymmetrex’s effort to address a debilitating secret of stem cell ...
(Date:1/8/2019)... ... January 07, 2019 , ... ... is proud to welcome Thomas Kennedy as head of sales and business development ... PureWay. , Mr. Kennedy has previously worked for Johnson & Johnson Medical, Globus ...
(Date:1/7/2019)... ... 07, 2019 , ... Franz Inc. , an early ... Knowledge Graphs solutions, announced that it was recognized by Database Trends and ... and information management recognition list includes newer approaches leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/20/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... December 20, 2018 , ... New Year’s ... with major changes in regulations in the European Union (EU) on the horizon, Jim ... to consider. , “The transition to the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR), digital health, ...
(Date:12/18/2018)... , ... December 18, 2018 , ... ... process optimization firm for the life sciences industry, unveiled a completely redesigned website ... creating a more user-friendly browsing experience for their valued clients and business partners. ...
(Date:12/13/2018)... ... December 12, 2018 , ... RURO, ... solutions, announces the Limfinity® ML (Machine Learning) addition for its Limfinity® 7 framework. ... within Limfinity® solutions. In the module, trained models make predictions based on user ...
(Date:12/5/2018)... ... December 05, 2018 , ... Leading authority on how to bridge the gap ... “The Referral Playbook: How to Increase Sales with Proven Networking Strategies.” ... to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA). , Itzkowich is hosting “The Referral ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: