beetle

14 Stories

Beetle Destroying Trees Used to Make Iconic Baseball Bats

Nation's ash trees are being wiped out by Emerald Ash Borer

(Newser) - When the Emerald Ash Borer first made its way to US soil from Asia in the 1990s, it hardly registered among scientists or in the news—where it came from, after all, it only feasted on weak and dying ash trees. But the tiny beetle smaller than a penny quickly... More »

An Incredible Drug Could Leave Us in Deep Doodoo

Ivermectin passes from mammals into their excrement, and that's a problem

(Newser) - Without the lowly dung beetle, we'd be in deep doodoo, somewhat literally. As Mother Jones explains, 100 billion tons of dung are excreted by the planet's animals daily. Dung beetles eat dung (and use it to "woo girlfriends," among other things, as a zoologist explains at... More »

In the Future, Blowing on Cash Could Reveal If It's Counterfeit

Scientists look to beetle-based technology

(Newser) - Scientists are working on an easier way to detect counterfeit money—and they have beetles to thank for it. The system, which would allow people to reveal counterfeit cash by breathing on it, is based on the ability of a longhorn beetle species to change color based on local humidity,... More »

George Harrison Memorial Tree Killed ... by Beetles

But don't worry, it will be replanted

(Newser) - A tree planted in Los Angeles to honor former Beatle George Harrison has been killed—by beetles. Councilman Tom LaBonge says the pine grew to more than 12 feet tall before succumbing to a bark beetle infestation. The tree was removed last month and will be replanted in the fall.... More »

ATMs Learn Self-Defense From Acid-Spraying Bug

Beetle's spray system offers model for cash machines

(Newser) - The ATM is getting a lesson in self-defense—from a bug. Researchers in Switzerland were inspired by the bombardier beetle, which shoots out a gas that can burn skin, the Atlantic reports. The beetle's mechanism works by mixing two chemicals normally kept separate in its abdomen. When under attack,... More »

The 9 Cars Most Popular With Women

VW Beetles, small SUVs most popular for women

(Newser) - Women seem to agree on the cars they want to drive—just nine vehicle models have more female registrants than male, according to a survey of vehicle records. The top pick for women is the Volkswagen Beetle, and after that, a strong preference for small sport-utility vehicles emerges, the LA ... More »

Jewish Engineer Designed Beetle: Historian

Hitler ordered Porsche to replicated Josef Ganz's prototype

(Newser) - Adolf Hitler took the original design for the Volkswagen Beetle from the brainchild of a Jewish engineer, the Jerusalem Post reports. Historian Paul Schilperoord claims in his forthcoming book The True History of the Beetle that a prototype Josef Ganz designed in the late '20s had many of the Beetle’... More »

Feds Showing More Love for Uglier Endangered Species

(Newser) - When you’re an endangered species jockeying for federal funding, good looks are historically a plus. That may be changing, the Washington Post reports. In the past, researchers note, “there has been a very heavy bias toward ‘charismatic megafauna’—relatively large, well-known birds and mammals.” But... More »

Scientists Name Beetle After Colbert

Researchers honor comedian on his birthday

(Newser) - Scientists who bestowed names of Bush administration officials on a trio of bugs have named a new Venezuelan beetle after Stephen Colbert, the Washington Times reports. "Last year, Stephen shamelessly asked the science community to name something cooler than a spider to honor him," said one of the... More »

As Temperatures Rise, West's Trees Dying Faster

New study paints dire picture for US forests which are releasing carbon dioxide—not storing it

(Newser) - America’s trees are dying at an alarming rate in the nation's western forests, a new study says. Death rates have more than doubled over the last two to three decades, Time reports, even in seemingly healthy locales. All types and sizes of trees, and at all elevations, have been... More »

Greenies Fight to Keep Beetle-Ravaged Trees

Environmentalists, bureaucracy slow Forest Service efforts

(Newser) - A massive swath of trees from Colorado to British Columbia is being ravaged by beetles that burrow beneath bark to lay eggs. But the real ecological battle is being fought not over how to protect the trees, but how to treat them once they’re dead. The Christian Science Monitor ... More »

Ravenous Beetles Decimate West's Pines

Harsh winter sole hope for containing insect that has affected millions of acres—and is moving east

(Newser) - Peanut-sized bark beetles have drilled into and killed millions of acres of green pines from New Mexico to British Columbia, threatening the Rockies’ iconic lodgepoles with extinction, reports the New York Times. With only costly and temporary fixes available, preservationists are hoping for an atypically frigid winter to contain the... More »

Pine Beetles Eat Through Western Forests

Huge bug infestation doing more damage than wildfires

(Newser) - The biggest infestation of mountain pine beetles in decades is devastating huge tracts of forest in the Western states, USA Today reports; forestry workers say the bugs are killing even more trees than the wildfires ravaging California's forests. The larvae consume the inner bark of trees, usually lodgepole pines, killing... More »

Hey Hey, My, My, It's Spider Man

New arachnid species named for rock legend Young

(Newser) - A new spider species has been named for rocker Neil Young, an outspoken advocate for environmental issues, Reuters reports. A biologist and Neil Young fan who discovered the species named it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi. It's not the first such honor for a singer. A beetle was recently named Orectochilus orbisonorum after... More »

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