is a web carnival devoted to beetles, their biology and evolution. The current issue is at Beetles in the Bush. Go check it out!
Insects lurking in a bush? That makes me think of the synsects of this book… http://www.amazon.com/Invincible-Ace-Science-Fiction-Special/dp/0283979623/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287492559&sr=1-1
(although beetles do not tend to be social)
An Alaskan species of beetle actually has a (non-protein) molecule that inhibits ice crystal formation, enabling it to go into suspended animation during winter.
If they could only evolve a more effective way of pumping air and blood, they could overcome the size limitation of arthropods and become really formidable.
-Considering the enormous biomass of beetles, I wonder if we could make a GM variety, programmed to seek out anoxic conditions before death so they do not decompose. That would tie up a lot of carbon…
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I and the BIRD … not just a Web Carnival any more