Thursday, February 17, 2011






Bombardier Beetle

By Sarah Smith

Intro:
Bombardier beetles are a form of ground beetles, also known as Carabidae. There are over 500 species of them, and they all have an extremely unique defense mechanism. When frightened, the make a popping sound and then eject a spray of chemical toxins which can reach up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also capable of aiming their defense glands which can rotate 270 degrees very accurately. Bombardier beetles live every continent except Antartica and Asia. They are usually found in woodlands in tropical areas, but can be found in most places that are moist where they can lay their eggs. They are carnivorous, and usually hunt at night. They eat other insects, and sometimes other beetles.



Classification:


Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Arthropoda
Class:
Insecta
Order:
Coleoptera
Family:
Carabidae



Anatomy:























Form and Function:


The chemical that bombardier beetles eject is a combination of two chemical compounds, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide. Inside the insect, there are two chambers, containing each chemical separated. When threatened, however, it contracts muscles which force the two chemicals into a mixing chamber in the abdomen which contains water and a mixture of catalytic enzymes. When they are mixed, they form a chemical reaction which heats it to the boiling point of water. Because of the pressure from the boiling, the valves from the storage chamber close, which protects the internal organs. Then, the liquid becomes a gas because of Flash Evaporation. Flash evaporation is when a vapor comes from a liquid when it undergoes a reduction in pressure and passes through a valve. The liquid is shot out through a valve, creating a loud popping sound and frightens and burns the predator.
Like most beetles, bombardier beetles mate to reproduce sexually. They have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They are usually found in woodlands in tropical areas, but can be found in most places that are moist where they can lay their eggs. They are carnivorous, and usually hunt at night. They eat other insects, and sometimes other beetles.

Impact on World/Humanity:
Bombardier beetles do not affect humans economically or in any other direct way, however they can cause damage if you get sprayed by one. The main way that they affect people is through the debate of creation versus evolution. Their origin is a comon dispute among scientists.

Journal Article:
Creationism—bombardier beetle
Nature Friend magazine
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v12/i1/bombardier.asp
This article talks about how the Bombardier Beetle came into existence. Dr. Schildknecht, a German chemist, states that the bombardier beetle is far too complex to have simply evolved. Because of the fact that two chemicals can be contained in separate chambers and then mixed at just the right time, without blowing the beetle up, and containing the right enzymes, is far too complex to have happened by chance or natural selection.




Really Cool Video!!





Sources:



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