There are many species of beetles around the world, but one has fascinated researchers thanks to the presence of an unusual trait. Known as the diabolical ironclad beetle, the insect can be confounded with a piece of stone or wood from a distance.
Scientists were impressed by its exoskeleton, which is classified as one of the toughest natural materials in existence. A new study has allowed researchers to learn more about the exoskeleton, and some of the data could be used to produce enhanced materials.
Since the exoskeleton is incredibly difficult to pierce, the diabolical iron clad beetle can withstand an impressive amount of punishment. In some cases, cars have run over them, and the beetles continued their journey unaffected, baffling researchers.
It is theorized that the extraordinary fortitude of the creature might be influenced by the fact that it doesn’t fly, which allows it to be heavier than other beetles. The additional weight is present in the form of a thicker exoskeleton, which makes it similar to a little tank.
The diabolical ironclad beetle can be found in the hot deserts of southwest North America, and it prefers to hide under rocks or tree bark. A series of tests were conducted on beetles collected from the Inland Empire region, which can be found in California, and the results observed by researchers have been quite impressive.
While the average beetle can withstand a maximum pressure of 68 newtons, the diabolical ironclad beetle could reach up to 149 newtons, equal to 39,000 times its body weight. The structure of the shell was analyzed with the help of electron microscopes, a spectroscope, and CT scans to learn more about it, and 3D models were constructed to verify certain theories.
A paper was published in a scientific journal.