Beetles hear the heat | Science News



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Beetles hear the heat

Thick skin seems to let some insects perceive fire

1:44am, August 8, 2008
Fire-sensing beetles have an outer skin tough enough to let them sense the infrared radiation from a blaze up to 10 kilometers away, scientists report online and in the Aug. 15 Journal of Experimental Biology. The study provides yet another clue for researchers trying to design beetle-inspired heat sensors capable of detecting forest fires sooner.

It’s almost as if these fire beetles can “hear” heat, says Helmut Schmitz, an entomologist at the University of Bonn in Germany and coauthor of the new study.

For years,

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