Predaceous Diving Beetle With Air Bubble
Jim Rathert/Missouri Department of Conservation

Week in Geek: insect scuba edition

Your next scuba diving buddy could be a water beetle.

It turns out these little guys don’t breathe under water with gills, but rather bring their oxygen supply with them, much like we humans do. And they’ve been doing it for millions of years.

Thanks to their size and their streamlined shape, predaceous diving beetles can actually drag air underwater with them thanks to the power of surface tension. The beetles use their wings to trap air from the surface and carry it with them when they dive into the streams and lakes they live in. The air provides them with the oxygen they need while they hunt for food. One depleted, they return to the surface for a refill.

That sure beats renting fifty pounds of scuba gear!

Here’s some more geek from the week.

Keep on geeking!

@Summer_Ash, In-house Astrophysicist

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Week in Geek: insect scuba edition