'Unsquishable' Beetle - the 'Ironclad beetle' or Diabolical beetle.

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In summary, the beetle Phloeodes diabolicus can survive being run over by an automobile tire by using its hard forewings as armor. This may have some practical applications, like avoiding predation by birds.
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jim mcnamara
TL;DR Summary
Unusual elytra microstructure creates enormous resistance to pressure.

Want to read the paper?
Note: use this link above, scroll down, to get a referring link to Nature. I cannot make it work here, you have to go there to see the paper

These bark beetles, Phloeodes diabolicus (Nosoderma diabilocus), can literally survive being run over by an automobile tire. It is a survival mechanism to avoid predation by birds like woodpeckers. There may be some practical applications of the unique internal structure of the elytra - the very, very hard forewings that changed function from flying to armor.
See: pictures and other information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosoderma_diabolicum (Note different genus name, same bug. Biology has a taxonomic issue called 'nomen confusum' -- which you can get the gist of without knowing Latin.)
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It's curious you mention the taxonomy confusion. I think that's true in a lot of subjects and even in everyday life where we struggle to organize our papers and photos. I've given up on any kind of organization beyond a timestream. As more often than not we think in terms of when something occurred in order to find it to the year and month.

In computing, Unix provided a tentative solution in the form of folders and links which allows the same file to be in more than one place at once allowing different taxonomy trees with the file in both.

In the case of the beetle, it's likely that it was placed in one genus and then moved as more details emerged about its attributes and features.

Here's the detailed discussion on the name change:


and here's some BAE news on their use of the beetle armor:

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In general, the taxonomic terms used to label different species has been in flux for several reasons:
  1. personal competition between those naming things
  2. philosophical differences between lumpers (who like fewer categories containing large collections of species) vs. splitters (more categories containing fewer species).
  3. new and conflicting methods and rules for naming species (such as descent vs. similarity based groups of species)
  4. immense amounts of new genomic data and greatly increased abilities (computers) to analyze them
In biological taxonomy, although "there can only be one" is the general idea for unique designators (species names).
However, in some cases the single accepted name for a species can change rapidly and remain in dispute for extended periods.
The literature therefore is a scattered history of not easy to follow name changes.
Sometimes this makes knowing what species is being discussed, or what it should be called, difficult.
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Related to 'Unsquishable' Beetle - the 'Ironclad beetle' or Diabolical beetle.

1. What makes the 'Unsquishable' Beetle so strong?

The 'Unsquishable' Beetle, also known as the 'Ironclad beetle' or Diabolical beetle, gets its incredible strength from its exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is made up of layers of chitin and protein, which are arranged in a way that allows for flexibility and strength. This unique structure makes it difficult for predators to crush or penetrate the beetle's exoskeleton.

2. How much weight can the 'Unsquishable' Beetle withstand?

The 'Unsquishable' Beetle has been tested to withstand weights up to 39,000 times its own body weight. This is equivalent to a 200-pound person carrying 7.8 million pounds on their back. This incredible strength is due to the beetle's exoskeleton and the way it distributes weight and pressure.

3. How does the 'Unsquishable' Beetle protect itself from predators?

In addition to its strong exoskeleton, the 'Unsquishable' Beetle has a unique defense mechanism. When threatened, it contracts its muscles and tucks its legs and head into its body, creating a sealed space between its exoskeleton and body. This makes it difficult for predators to crush or penetrate the beetle's exoskeleton.

4. Can the 'Unsquishable' Beetle survive extreme temperatures?

Yes, the 'Unsquishable' Beetle has been found to survive in a wide range of temperatures, from -4°F (-20°C) to 140°F (60°C). This is due to its ability to regulate its body temperature through a process called thermoregulation. The beetle can also withstand extreme dryness and humidity, making it a highly adaptable species.

5. Is the 'Unsquishable' Beetle found in other parts of the world?

The 'Unsquishable' Beetle is primarily found in the deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. However, there are also similar species found in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Australia. These beetles may have different names, but they share the same incredible strength and defense mechanisms as the 'Unsquishable' Beetle.