Wild Fact #19 – Faster Than A Speeding Beetle – Darkling Beetle

Darkling Beetle

Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim – Wikipedia

There are more than 20,000 species of Darkling Beetle scattered throughout the planet, so chances are you have one living near you. While they are common in many different habitats, they seem to be best suited for the arid regions of the planet. You will see why in a second but first let’s take a look at a few interesting facts.

Cool Facts About The Darkling Beetle

  • Another name for this abundant and divers insect is the Darkening Beetle – sure it sounds the same but it is different.
  • Believe it or not the Darkling Beetle is impressively fast. In fact, they have been clocked at around 4 km/hr (2.5 mph), which just might make them the fastest beetle on the planet.
  • These beetles do not need to drink water. How do they quench their thirst after all that running? They simply produce water metabolically. Just think how much easier it would be if we could do that – you would never have to worry about getting your 7 glasses of water a day.

Why Is the Darkling Beetle in Such a Rush?

You might be thinking that the Darkling Beetle must have some pretty vicious enemies if it needs to run up to 4 km/hr. Well, while this beetle does need to be on the lookout for sunspiders, birds, rodents and lizards, their fast running skills are used for something else.

Darkling Beetle

Photo by Hans Hillewaert – Wikipedia

Do you know what it is?

Go ahead, take a guess.

If you guessed that it helps them stay cool in the hot desert sun then you are 100% correct.

Wait a minute? Running helps them stay cool? Obviously you have never seen me run – I sweat more than any normal man should, so how does it keep them cool.

Well, when you are cruising around at a whopping 4 km/hr, you create a wonderful breeze that blows through your hair (or in the case of the beetle through their antennae). The wind they generate actually cools down their body to a normal temperature. So while many of us run for pleasure or to get in shape, the Darkling Beetle does his morning jog to stay cool and luckily for them, they don’t need to drag around a water bottle – lucky little beetle.

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