Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Body resists soil adhesion: dung beetle
 

Body of the dung beetle reduces soil ahesion via non-smooth surface morphology.

   
  "The adhesion forces of soil, which exist when soil is in contact with a solid interface, often make troubles for soil engaging components of vehicles and machines, such as earthmovers, excavator-buckets and bulldozers, and result in the fall of power output. However, the phenomena of soil adhesion disappear when soil-burrowing animals move in soil. Soil animals' such excellent ability of anti-adhesion is partly resulted from their non-smoothness surface morphologies [5], for example, the morphological body surface of dung beetle is of non-smoothness or roughness in micro scales, as shown in Figure 1." (Collins 2004:218)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Collins, M. 2004. Design and nature II: comparing design in nature with science and engineering. Southampton: WIT.
  • Ren, L; Deng, S; Wang, J; Han, Z. 2004. Design principles of the non-smooth surface of bionic plow moldboard. Journal of Bionics Engineering. 1(1): 9-19.
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Functional adaptation

Insects digest fecal waste: dung beetles
 

Dung beetles play an important role in nutrient cycling and soil generation because they feed on and bury feces.

       
  "During parts of the year in India, dung beetles bury an estimated forty to fifty thousand tons of human excrement each day." (Crump 2005:73)

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  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Crump, M. 2005. Headless Males Make Great Lovers & Other Unusual Natural Histories. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 199 p.
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