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  • "Cassida rubignosa is the formal name of a beetle. In its larval form, it carries a small sack of garbage around on its back. There's a little pronged fork sticking up at the end of its abdomen. When the larva molts, the old skin catches on the fork and makes a kind of garbage bag. The anal aperture is right there, too, and fecal matter is deposited in the bag. For a long time, zoologists pondered the purpose of this arrangement.

    Then they noticed the ant. A hunting ant that likes to eat beetle larvae. An ant that is also fastidious in nature, grooming itself often to keep tidy.

    So when the ant scurries up and gives the larva a preliminary feel to size it up for dinner, the larva hits it with the garbage bag. The ant falls back to clean up the noxious mess and the larva slumps away. Zoologists refer to this device as a fecal shield."

    - 'All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten', Robert Fulghum.

    February 28, 2008

  • Yuck indeed. *gagging*

    February 28, 2008

  • If I write this I can probably get on your weird book titles list in a few years: 'Weaponising the Colostomy Bag: Self-Defence Lessons from the Insect Kingdom.'

    February 28, 2008

  • You've got my vote, bilby. That's a scream...

    February 28, 2008

  • Go for it! I'd vote for you hands down.

    February 28, 2008

  • BLAHAHAHAHA! One of my favorite Wordie pages ever!!

    I have got to know... when, and why, and how, do you think this beetle evolved this particular function? Wow!

    February 29, 2008

  • Here I am, thinking that I found something new and amazing, only to find that it's been discussed here five years ago! Anyway, here's a beautiful picture of it.

    (And how come it's not on the specific-excrement list?)

    July 12, 2013

  • Jesus, deinonychus! I can't un-see that!!! IT'S FREAKY AS HELL!!

    *adds it to list*

    July 12, 2013