Bombastic Bombardier Beetles

Ever since I was first introduced to these creatures by one of my teachers I’ve been fascinated by them. I knew that they had to be the animal for B right away, they may not be anywhere near the only animal that uses chemicals to defend themselves, but they are certainly the only animal that does so in such a explosively complex manner. These beetles can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They eat and act like regular beetles, except for their extraordinary defense mechanism. The beetle stores hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide in two separate pouches in its abdomen. These chemicals each are toxic on their own, but when combined they create a chemical reaction that produces
enough heat to instantly boil the chemicals and produce a loud explosion of heat and toxic gas. They themselves are immune to the chemicals, and don’t even get burned by the 212ºF explosion! These little gunners are truly the best. The idea that something so small as an insect and so ordinary as a beetle can be hiding something so complicated and strange is amazing. That is why I chose the Bombardier Beetle as one of the favorite animals in the book.

“Bombardier Beetle.” Wikipedia, 5 Nov. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_beetle.

Nargi, Lela. “Scientists Solve Mystery of Bombardier Beetles’ Hot, Toxic Spray.” Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/scientists-solve-mystery-of-bombardier-beetles-hot-toxic-spray/2020/07/02/b0149ea4-badd-11ea-bdaf-a129f921026f_story.html. Accessed 18 Nov. 2020. Accessed 23 Sept.

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