Beetle's fire detectors

Beetle's fire detectors

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This image is part of the feature Animal Super Senses
This image is part of the feature Fire Research

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Beetle's fire-detecting sensors. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the infrared sensors (sensilla) of the Melanophila acuminata beetle, with which it is able to detect distant fires. The sensors are found behind the second legs of the beetle. This beetle lays its eggs in burnt trees, and the larvae burrow into the damaged wood. The beetle uses these detectors to find burning trees, which it can see from up to 12 kilometres away. Researchers are studying this ability with the aim of creating new heat recognition systems. These will hopefully be able to identify humans and machinery by their heat over great distances, and could also help detect fires in buildings. Magnification: unknown.

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Keywords: animal, antennae, beetle, biological, biology, coloured, compound eyes, detector, false-coloured, fauna, fire detecting beetle, fire-detecting, flames, forest fire, infrared, infrared sensor, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, melanophila acuminata, melanophila sp., natural, nature, one, scanning electron micrograph, sem, sensilla, sensillium, single, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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