Beetles are known to be hardy. Among them, the armored beetle is distinguished by its toughness. Birds, lizards, and rodents often try to eat it, but rarely succeed. If the creature is hit by a car, it is still alive. It is certain unique properties of the beetle that appear indestructible.
Difficult to crack
It’s called Phloeodes diabolicus. It has a very tough exoskeleton that is one of the toughest and most crush resistant structures. An article about this was published in Nature. Researchers at the University of California have discovered what makes the organism so indestructible. Engineers can benefit from these designs.
The battleship is a ground beetle. Therefore it is not light and fast, but rather built like a small tank. He said it It’s a statement lead researcher David Kisailus, professor at UCI. This is his adaptation. He can’t fly, so he just sits still and lets his specially designed armor do the job.
Its desert habitat is in the southwestern United States. The beetle is found under rocks and in trees that are pressed between the bark and the trunk. Another reason why you need a permanent exterior.
The lead author is Jesús Rivera, a PhD student in the Kisailus laboratory. He collected the beetles in locations around the Inland Empire campus. And he took her to Kisailus’ lab for compression tests.
They found that the armored beetle can withstand a force approximately 39,000 times its body weight. A 200-pound man would have to carry 3.5 million kilos to do that.
The secret elytra
The secret lies in the architecture of its exoskeleton, especially its Elytra. The battleship’s Elytra has become a solid protective shield.
Analysis by Kisailus and Rivera showed that Elytra is made up of layers of chitin. It is a fiber material and a protein matrix. They studied the chemical makeup of the exoskeleton of a lighter flying beetle. Then they compared it to that of the beetle, which appears indestructible. The outer shell of the devilish armored beetle has a significantly higher protein concentration. It’s about 10 percent more by weight, and the researchers suggest it contributes to the harder Elytra.
The team also examined the geometry of the Elytra. He found that it looked very much like the interlocking pieces of a puzzle. Rivera built a device into an electron microscope to observe how these compounds work under compression, much like how they might react in nature. The results of his experiment revealed his secrets. Instead of breaking in the “throat” area of these latches, the microstructure within the Elytra paddles gives way through delamination. That is, a break in the shift. “If you break a piece of the puzzle, expect it to come off the neck, the thinnest piece,” said Kisailus. “But we don’t see such a catastrophic split in this beetle species. Instead, it delaminates and makes for a more elegant failure of the structure.