Rhino beetle’s horn may be cheap | Science News


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Rhino beetle’s horn may be cheap

Males’ outrageous head spikes may not have much cost

9:45am, January 10, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. — While the spiked horns on rhinoceros beetles may look like masculine sacrifice for the sake of huge weapons, the protrusions may not be such a drag after all.

Male Trypoxylus dichotomus beetles grow upswept rhino-style horns with forked tips that they use in struggles to flip rivals off trees where females feed. “Imagine a beetle flying around with a pitchfork on the front of its head,” said Erin McCullough of the University of Montana.

Cumbersome as the horn looks, though, McCullough and her colleagues are having trouble documenting much inconvenience to the beetle, she reported January 5 at the annual meeting of t

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