Even though it can’t fly, the bug’s survival skills are through the roof. report. The architecture and material composition of the entire exoskeleton accounts for some of the toughness; but the key, the researchers found, lay in the elytra. The diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand much greater forces than other members of the same family from similar habitats. “An active engineering challenge is joining together different materials without limiting their ability to support loads,” said mechanical engineer David Restrepo of the University of Texas at San Antonio. I was surprised to see no other threads about this beetle here. "But we don't see that sort of catastrophic split with this species of beetle. / CBS News. For engineers pursuing advanced, ultra-tough materials, it can pay to look to the natural world for inspiration, and the diabolical ironclad beetle is not a bad place to start. (15 kilograms). Specifically, its elytra — the blades that open and close on the wings of aerial beetles — have fused together to act as a solid shield for the beetle, which can't fly. A compression test revealed the diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand a force of 39 thousand times its own body weight. The aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight. "The ironclad is a terrestrial beetle, so it's not lightweight and fast but built more like a little tank," lead author David Kisailus, a UCI professor of materials science and engineering, said in a news release. Picture: Jesus Rivera, Kisailus Biomimetics and Nanostructured Materials Lab, University of California Irvine via AP It has lost the ability to fly, so its super-strong exoskeleton is evolution's compensation. Now scientists might have finally figured out its secrets – and are starting to apply them to new materials. Thread starter P.jasonius; Start date May 8, 2007; May 8, 2007 #1 P.jasonius Arachnobaron. Does it have good a matchup against most bugs or is it low tier? Scientists believe that understanding just what makes the iron beetle so tough will have practical applications for humans, too. The diabolical ironclad beetle, by contrast, could withstand a maximum force of 149 Newtons – that’s a jaw-dropping 39,000 times its own body weight. Yikes. Rather than snap apart, as you’d expect puzzle pieces to do, the microstructures within the exoskeletal blades gave way to layered parallel fracturing, a process known as delamination. This 2016 photo provided by the University of California, Irvine, shows a diabolical ironclad beetle, which can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight and are native to desert habitats in Southern California. A cross-section of the medial suture, where two halves of the diabolical ironclad beetle's elytra meet, shows the puzzle piece configuration that's among the keys to the insect's incredible durability. Why is he fundraising for it? This could lead, for example, to safer aircraft engines, which employ fasteners that add structural stress that decrease the durability of the overall engine. The species, which can be found in Southern California’s woodlands, withstood compression of about 39,000 times its own weight. Instead, it delaminates, providing for a more graceful failure of the structure.". The diabolical ironclad beetle, by contrast, could withstand a maximum force of 149 Newtons - that's a jaw-dropping 39,000 times its own body weight. They discovered that the "iron" beetles could resist continuous forces up to 149 newtons, or 33 lbs. Yikes. Scientists have found that the shell of the bug, which is native to desert habitats in the Southwestern U.S., has evolved to protect it. First, they conducted steel plate compression tests of the entire exoskeleton to ascertain just how much force the beetle could withstand, comparing the results to other beetle species from the same region with similar predators, such as pecking birds, and the same defence strategy, playing dead. Its exoskeleton contains about 10% more protein by weight than that of a lighter, flying beetle. Researchers from Japan, Indiana, and California recently measured how much force the shell could withstand without breaking and measured a maximum force of 149 Newtons (N), and an average force of 133 N. It's only about two centimeters long, but built like a tiny top-0f-the-line military tank—capable of surviving being run over by your car, according to an Oct. 2020 study published in the journal Nature.Yes, this is an actual scientific fact—and one that could lead to groundbreaking engineering innovations. The researchers built an aircraft engine fastener using carbon fibre material and mimicking the jigsaw-puzzle structure of the diabolical ironclad beetle’s suture. All Rights Reserved. When they compared the diabolical ironclad beetle’s exoskeleton to that of a similar beetle, they found that the ironclad had significantly more protein – about 10 percent more by weight. What the species you are keeping needs, can be found at the Species Description page. Meet the diabolical ironclad beetle (pretty boss name, if you ask us). It can survive being run over by a car, pecked by predators and crushed underfoot. This 2016 photo provided by the University of California, Irvine, shows a diabolical ironclad beetle, which can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its … This discovery could pave the way for the development of more durable materials to overcome engineering challenges. But the suture line along which the beetle’s elytra are fused ended up playing a crucial role in its toughness. The result was both stronger and tougher than current aerospace designs. The diabolical ironclad beetle is found in the forests of North America's Pacific coast. Joined Nov 19, 2006 Messages 423. Facts about … How to house your beetle larvae depends on the species you have. Zopherus nodulosus haldemani, what can I feed this thing to keep it alive? save. Old Timer. Copyright Space Science Tech. Though this species is commonly referred to as the ironclad beetle, its scientific name is Zopherus nodulosus haldemani Horn and it belongs to the order Coleoptera. Under compression, the jigsaw puzzle-like structure of the elytra doesn't snap as expected, but rather, fractures slowly. More Ironclad Beetle Facts And Questions. "This study really bridges the fields of biology, physics, mechanics and materials science toward engineering applications, which you don't typically see in research," Kisailus said. Jesus Rivera, Kisailus Biomimetics and Nanostructured Materials Lab, University of California Irvine via AP) The diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight and are native to desert habitats in Southern California. Photo: University of California, Irvine John Elder Science Editor Despite its name, the ‘diabolical ironclad beetle’ isn’t in league with the devil. The research has been published in Nature. In flying beetles, the elytra are the hard forewings that act as wing cases to protect the more delicate veined hindwings that the insect uses for flight. After conducting loading tests, they found that their fastener was just as strong as the fasteners currently in use, but significantly tougher. This is aided by a coating of microscopic hairs called microtrichia on the outside surfaces of the blades that increase friction, preventing the interlocking edges from slipping apart. 100% Upvoted. So, how does the seemingly indestructible bug manage to survive against all odds? But what it lacks in dazzle, it makes up for in durability: its exoskeleton is one of the toughest materials in the natural world. The similar beetles were able to withstand an average peak load of less than 68 Newtons. A diabolical ironclad beetle, which can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight. Biden's inauguration will be virtual. Lawmakers reach agreement on COVID economic relief package, CDC panel makes recommendation for next Americans to get vaccine, Paul McCartney on lockdown, and John Lennon, Biden chief of staff faults White House for mixed messages on hack, Several countries ban travel to the U.K. due to new coronavirus strain, Surgeon general cites antibody treatment for Trump's vaccine delay, Chaos at California mall after man shoots self, Ariana Grande is engaged to boyfriend Dalton Gomez, Guest leaves $5,600 tip for Ohio restaurant staff. Not only is it incredibly difficult for predators to attack, the diabolical ironclad beetle has been known to survive not just human stompings, but being run over by cars. They also conducted simulations and used 3D printed models to verify their findings. “The suture kind of acts like a jigsaw puzzle,” said materials scientist Pablo Zavattieri of Purdue University. And scientists have just used a suite of tools to discover the physical and mechanical properties that give the diabolical ironclad beetle its incredible fortitude. Anyway, the next step was trying to figure out how the little beetle does what it does, for which the team employed spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and CT scans to closely study the hard shell. According to research published Wednesday in the journal Nature, the insect's armor is so durable, few predators have successfully made a meal out of it — and it can even survive getting run over by a car. The diabolical ironclad beetle does not have wings, so its elytra and connective suture help to distribute an applied force more evenly throughout its body. Kisailus said that new, extra-strong materials based on the bug's characteristics will drastically improve the durability of aircraft, automobiles and more. hide. Drive over the beetle in your car and it won't even break a sweat. 3 3. comments. “But we don’t see that sort of catastrophic split with this species of beetle. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Now scientists know why. Native to desert habitats in Southern California, the diabolical ironclad beetle has an exoskeleton that's one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the animal kingdom. The diabolical ironclad beetle can take on a load of at least 39,000 times its body weight. Using compressive steel plates, UCI researchers found that the diabolical ironclad beetle can take on an applied force of about 150 newtons—a load of at least 39,000 times its body weight—before the exoskeleton begins to fracture. The aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus) has an exoskeleton so strong, it can survive being pecked by birds and even run over by cars. This 2016 photo provided by the University of California, Irvine, shows a diabolical ironclad beetle, which can withstand being crushed by forces almost 40,000 times its body weight and are native to desert habitats in Southern California. Tracking Biden's Cabinet picks as administration takes shape, Joe Biden says he has "great confidence" in Hunter, Biden taps Deb Haaland to be 1st Native American interior secretary, Biden plans to nominate Michael Regan as EPA chief, Biden announces Pete Buttigieg as pick to lead Transportation Department, Biden expected to tap Jennifer Granholm for energy secretary, Biden and Harris to be sworn in at Capitol, but public urged to stay home. © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. The team collected their beetles from the Inland Empire region of California. Just imagine the weight of having 39,000 clones piled on top of you. Some 5 years later, he and his colleagues have discovered how this unbreakable bug earned its colloquial identify: the diabolical ironclad beetle. The beetle can withstand a force of about 39,000 times its body weight — the equivalent of a 200-pound man enduring the weight of 7.8 million pounds. Its nearly indestructible shell, coupled with its convincing acting skills when it comes to playing dead, leave the beetle with few predators. Just imagine the weight of having 39,000 clones piled on top of you. A team from Purdue University and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have deduced that when an extreme amount of pressure is put on the beetle, its "crush-resistant" shell adapts to the situation by stretching, rather than shattering. "Luckily, this program, which is sponsored by the Air Force, really enables us to form these multidisciplinary teams that helped connect the dots to lead to this significant discovery. Diabolical Ironclad Beetle. 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