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J. B. S. Haldane was a British biologist. One day a theologian asked him what he could surmise about the nature of God after studying the biology of Earth. Haldane replied that, “God has an inordinate fondness for beetles.” Come along with Tidbits as we consider beetles!
A SUCCESS STORY
• Beetles are the largest group of animals on the planet. One out of every four known species on Earth, both plant and animal, is a beetle. Beetles are the largest genus of insect, accounting for one-third of all insect species. Over 350,000 species of beetle have been identified since 1758; that averages out to slightly more than four new species per day. Considering sheer numbers, beetles are the most successful animal on Earth. • The Old English word ‘bitula’ meaning ‘little biter’ gave us the word ‘beetle.’ The word ‘weevil’ (a genus of long-snouted beetles) comes from the German ‘webila’ meaning ‘swarming.’ The scientific name for the order of beetles is Coleoptera, from the Greek word ‘koleon’ meaning a sheath and ‘pteron’ meaning wing. Beetles have two sets of wings. The top set is hard and is used as protection, forming a kind of shell over the bottom set of wings, which are delicate and used for flying.
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• The click beetle has a special protection against being flipped on its back, which leaves most oth701-746-8684 er beetles helpless. It has a built-in springboard View our Displays in our showroom at: inside its body and will flip it with such force 4224 Gateway Dr. • Grand Forks that it launches itself several inches into the air www.sunroomsplusgf.com On 4 season Solariums when with a loud snap. Ideally the beetle lands rightordered by July 15! FREE ESTIMATES! side-up, but if not, then it simply catapults itself $500 OFF into the air again. Any Sunspace 3 or 4 • In Papua New Guinea there are about 20 differSeason Room th ent species of weevil that walk around with their when ordered by July 30 very own personal garden growing right on their Create your personal Haven with a Sunspace enclosure or sunroom and take backs. Lichens, mosses, algae, and fungi attach advantage of the warmth from the sun themselves to the backs of the beetles, and variwithout the bugs and wind! Get started by stopping by Sunrooms ‘Plus’ today! ous kinds of mites, lice, and tiny worms live on the lichens. Up to 19 species of plant may inhab5. What year was the European it a single insect. It makes for good camouflage. Union founded? • One type of beetle emits chemical odors that 6. Where was the U.S. Constitu1. T or F: Fireflies are beetles. tion signed in 1787? smell exactly like an ant. Living in ant colonies, 2. Which flash light faster: male 7. What type of geometric figure this beetle walks around soliciting free food fireflies, or female fireflies? would the term “deltoid” de3. Beetles are the biggest genus of from worker ants. Other types of beetle attach scribe? insect. What’s the second largest 8. Name the song that contains themselves to the hair of rodents and spend their genus? this lyric: “Ever since that night lives eating the fleas, mites, and lice that plague 4. The world’s largest bug is the we’ve been together, Lovers at Goliath beetle of the Amazon, the rodents. first sight, in love forever....” about the size of a man’s palm. TRIVIA • Desert-dwelling beetles have evolved extremely Can it fly? SPONSORED BY: long legs that act like stilts, raising the beetle’s body above the heat of the desert floor. One type of desert beetle carries a supply of water under the shell of its wings. .COM Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks • The fastest-running insect on Earth is a type of tiger beetle of Australia. It is so well adapted for Join us on running that it no longer has functioning wings One of the Finest Facebook and can’t fly. It can run about 1.5 miles per hour, Shooting Facilities in which, if translated to human dimensions, would the Upper Midwest mean the bug could run at about 720 mph. Join us for Open Trapshooting • The whirligig beetle lives on the surface of the On Wednesdays water. Its eyes are divided in half so that half at 6:30 pm sees above the water and half sees below the waEveryone Welcome! Fun for the Whole Family! ter. It waits for vibrations that tell it a helpless firstname.lastname@example.org • 701-732-0486 insect has fallen into the water, then it feasts on www.egfgunclub.org the drowning bug. ...continued 001100955r1
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• The bombardier beetle discharges a toxic vapor when threatened, propelling the noxious fumes amazing distances through a miniature explosion. The propellant is actually two highly explosive fuels that the beetle manufactures in two separate glands— hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide. The explosion takes place in a hardcoated rocket chamber, propelling the chemical outward. A bombardier beetle can reload and fire up to a dozen times in a row when under attack, taking deadly aim through a flexible and very precise turret. • One kind of beetle not only looks just like a wasp but also flies like a wasp, imitating the flight pattern. When captured, the harmless beetle will even mimic stinging its captor. • The gold-necked carrion beetle, when under attack, flops over on its back while beating its wings, which produces a noise just like a bumblebee, scaring off predators. • Many kinds of plants have evolved toxins that circulate in their sap to repel insects. However, there are some beetles that not only eat the poisoned sap with relish, but then secrete the toxins through their exoskeletons, making themselves taste bad. • The aptly-named blister beetle exudes a caustic substance that does indeed cause blisters. One type of blister beetle is ground up and sold as a reputed aphrodisiac called Spanish Fly. When swallowed, it irritates the lining of the urinary tract. When rubbed on the skin, it causes itching and burning. • Some beetles have evolved a natural camouflage and look exactly like tree bark, lichens, or bird poop. One Mexican species looks exactly like a lizard dropping. Several kinds of beetles have brightly colored spots on their wings that look exactly like large eyeballs, startling potential predators.
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PLEASE TELL OUR ADVERTISERS YOU SAW THEIR AD IN TIDBITS! 3. The Montreal Canadiens were the first NHL franchise to record 3,000 1. When was the last time bevictories. Which franchise fore 2015 that no member was the second to do it? of the New York Yankees 4. Since the 1999-2000 seawas in the starting lineup son, how many times has for the All-Star Game— the winner of the NHL’s 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002? President’s Trophy (best 2. Minnesota Twins pitcher reg. season record) also Phil Hughes set a majorwon the Stanley Cup? league record in 2014 for 5. How many times did the best strikeout-to-walk raBoston Celtics reach the tion (11.63 to 1). Who had NBA Finals in the 1980s? held the mark? (Hint: N.L., 1994) How many for the Lakers?
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NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE Beetle researcher Terry Erwin discovered two different kinds of new beetles that belonged to the family Agra. He called one "Agra sasquatch" and the other "Agra yeti" because both species had very large feet. Another species he discovered was difficult to describe, so he called it "Agra vation."
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BEETLES vs. BOTTLES
• One kind of male Australian beetle seeks out the largest female to mate with. An Australian beer manufacturer unwittingly made their beer bottles in the shape and color of the female beetle, albeit at a fantastically large size. When it was brought to their attention that thousands of male beetles were fruitlessly trying to mate with discarded beer bottles, they redesigned the bottle.
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• Dung beetles carve out a round ball of dung and roll it around where ever they go. The female will lay a single egg inside a dung ball, and, depending on environmental conditions, will either roll the ball into the sun to stay warm, or bury it in the dirt to stay cool so the egg has proper temperatures to develop.
• Beetles that have long snouts are called weevils. The snouts are used for sucking sap, which can cause problems for farmers. The boll is the seedpod of a cotton plant. The female boll weevil lays eggs on the boll, and the larvae eat the cotton fibers, destroying as much as 60% of the crop. In Enterprise, Alabama, the weevils destroyed not only the cotton crop but also the entire economy. So farmers began to plant peanuts instead, and found that peanuts earned them more money than cotton. The farmers were so grateful to the weevil for forcing them to try peanuts that they put up a statue. The plaque reads, “In profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the Herald of Prosperity.”
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• Different beetles eat different things: leaves, other bugs, pollen, etc. But some of the most important beetles are the ones that eat dead things or dung. These beetles perform the vital function of recycling garbage, breaking things down into their basic elements so they can be re-used by other plants and animals.
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• Rats will care for sick and injured members of their group. • Rats can't vomit, which is why they are so susceptible to poison. • A rat, after witnessing a treat being buried, will remember the spot only for a few seconds. • Rats who are stroked for a few minutes daily gain a resistance to stress that causes illness in non-handled rats. • Rats were given the choice between sunflower seeds with their husks on or sunflower seeds from which the husks had already been removed. However, to get the pre-husked seeds, the rats had to wait for the pre-determined time it takes a rat to remove a husk. Researchers wanted to see if the rats would like to wait for the pre-husked seeds, or to do the work themselves. The rats all seemed to feel that a seed in the paw is worth one in the feeder, and they all chose to husk the seeds themselves.
• Researchers rigged up a device whereby they could entice rats to cross an electrified grill by putting something worthwhile on the opposite side of the grill. Food, water, a mate— or a litter of baby rats. They found that the mothering instinct was stronger than the drive for food, water, or sex. However, a mother rat would cross the electrified grill only if her litter still needed to be nursed. They also discovered that thirst was a stronger incentive than hunger, and that females in heat crossed the grill faster the longer they had been deprived of sex. • Pregnant rats in overcrowded or noisy conditions gave birth to nervous, stupid offspring who remained nervous and stupid even when “adopted” by normal rat mothers.
• When blindfolded college students were pitted against rats in a maze-running contest, the rats clearly outdid the students. They consistently learned the pattern of the maze in one-third the number of trips as the humans. • When it comes to running mazes, scientists rank the following animals in order of intelligence: kitten, rat, guppy, guinea pig, chick, turtle. • A researcher at the University of Michigan taught a rat to jump at cards placed on a high platform. The card with a white circle would always fall aside when the rat bumped it, allowing the rat access to the food compartment. But the black-circled card was rigid, forcing the rat to fall into a net below. The rat learned to jump at the white circled card quite quickly. But then the researcher abruptly changed the rules: now the food was placed alternately behind the white card, then the black card. The rat was totally frustrated and unable to learn the new rule. After a few mistakes, it refused to jump unless forced. Even when the scientist showed the rat the food behind the black card, it still continued to jump for the white. The rat became neurotic. • A researcher raised two groups of rats. The first group was raised in small one-rat cages, with plenty of good food and water, but no exercise wheel, no socialization, no problems and no pain. The second group lived in a free environment, with other rats and constant challenges and obstacles. Subsequent intelligence testing revealed that the protected rats were dumber than the rats which had been challenged all their lives. • When Bob Hope quipped, "My hotel room is so small that the rats are stoop-shouldered," the hotel threatened to sue him unless he took it back. So in his next routine, he said, "I'm sorry I said that the rats in that hotel were stoop-shouldered. They are not."
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WEST NILE VIRUS HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED IN GRAND FORKS West Nile virus (WNV) is an infection transmitted by mosquitoes. The mosquito most common for transmitting this virus is one that is widespread throughout the Grand Forks region. This mosquito does not discriminate. People of all ages are susceptible to WNV infection, but the elderly are at higher risk for developing the more severe form of this disease (neuroinvasive illness). Children infected with WNV generally show no symptoms or may have a mild fever.
WEST NILE VIRUS WARNING
Risk factors for West Nile virus: • Time of year – The majority of WNV cases occur from July – September. • Geographic region – The Dakotas have reported some of the highest cases per capita in the United States. • Time spent outdoors not wearing protective clothing and mosquito repellent – If you work or spend a lot of time outdoors (golfing, gardening, hunting, etc.), you’re at a higher risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. • Proximity – If you live in an area where WNV has already been identified or near mosquito larval habitat. • If you have a weakened immune system. The best way to prevent West Nile virus infection is to avoid mosquito bites. • Use mosquito-repellant products containing DEET. • Wear long sleeves and pants. • Eliminate any standing water from your property, such as trash bins, plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, etc. The mosquito most common for transmitting this disease generally stays close to the site it hatched from. Don’t let it be a container or rain gutter from your own property.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to mosquito control visit our website at www.gfmosquito.com
The Spats by Jeff Pickering
• On July 21, 1775, Patriot minutemen in whaleboats raid Little Brewster Island, in Boston Harbor. The raiders temporarily drove off the island's British guard before burning the wooden parts of the point's lighthouse. Ten days later, 300 minutemen returned to the island to prevent the British from making repairs. • On July 19, 1799, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the Egyptian town of Rosetta. The Rosetta Stone contained passages written in three different scripts -- Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic -- providing the key to deciphering hieroglyphic language. • On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru. The site itself stretches for 5 miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many levels. Today, more than 300,000 people visit every year. • On July 22, 1923, John Dillinger joins the Navy in order to avoid charges of auto theft. A decade later, Dillinger's reputation was forged in a single 12-month period, during which he robbed more banks than Jesse James did in 15 years.
• On July 18, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt is nominated for an unprecedented third term. In 1947, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which stated that no person could be elected to the office of president more than twice.
“Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government, but illegal for the citizenry.”
• On July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the surface of the moon. As he stepped from the lunar lander, Armstrong say: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
~ Thomas Jefferson
• On July 23, 1984, Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant's history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen.
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July 4, 2016
• “If you have delicate items to wash, put them inside a pillowcase before you run them through the delicate cycle on your washing machine. This works really well if you have something that has thin straps, as they will not get tangled up in the agitator.” — K.Z. in Rhode Island • “Make your own fun fridge magnets using thin giveaway magnets from local businesses. Glue photos or artwork over the front of thin, pliable advertising magnets. Cut away the edges, and you’ll have fun magnets featuring your family members or pets, for instance.” — A.L. in Connecticut • “I keep a small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol in the glove box, along with a stack of paper napkins. This makes it easy to clean my glasses before driving. I also have used it to remove sticky residue and to sanitize my hands after pumping gas. It’s quite useful, really.” — F.E. in Washington • A muffin tin makes a great sorter when beading necklaces or doing crafts with small beads. You can sort by style or color, making it organized and easy to find what you need. • “If you have dry skin on elbows, knees or feet, get a container of Vaseline or other petroleum jelly. Rub a little bit of it into the dry skin areas at night, and you should see a difference in a week.” — E.L. in California • Whenever you travel in the car with your pet, try taking a sealable container of ice for drinking. It doesn’t spill as easily as water does, but will melt as time passes. Then Rover can drink the water when you stop for a break. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
THE BUG THAT SAVED THE DAY
by Samantha Weaver
• It was noted American poet and feminist Adrienne Rich who made the following sage observation: "Language is as real, as tangible, in our lives as streets, pipelines, telephone switchboards, microwaves, radioactivity, cloning laboratories, nuclear power stations." • When you were growing up, did kids call each other "chicken" to insult each other's bravery? In all likelihood, the answer is yes. That word has been used since the 14th century to insult those considered to be cowardly. • It was once against the law in some places -- England, for example -- for a man to marry his brother's widow. It was considered to be an incestuous relationship. • On a per-capita basis, Canada is the most educated place in the world; more than half of the country's residents have earned at least one college degree. • According to a study conducted by researchers at Emory University, heterosexual couples who spend more than $20,000 on their wedding were three and a half times as likely to have shorter marriages than those who were more frugal. This principle extends to the ring, too; men who spent more than $2,000 on an engagement ring were more likely to end up divorced. • It takes about 70 hours to read the entire Bible aloud -even longer if you take breaks to sleep and eat (and shower, one would hope). • Aside from being plant products, what do pinecones and pineapples have in common? You might be surprised. Not only do both have scales (which are obvious to see), but the scales share the same pattern: 13 rows spiraling one way, and eight rows spiraling the other way.
(Solution on Next Page)
• In the late 1860s, a scale insect – a type of sapsucking bug – was accidentally imported into California, on some acacia trees that had been shipped from Australia. Within 20 years the scale appeared on citrus trees in California in epidemic numbers. Millions of trees died and the citrus industry was in jeopardy. • Although Australia had the same kind of scale, their citrus trees weren’t affected by the scale. An entomologist for the Department of Agriculture went to Australia to find out why. • He noticed an Australian beetle eating the scale. Since these beetles did not live in America, he shipped 129 of them to the United States. • They were placed on an infected tree under a tent and allowed to feed and reproduce. Soon the tree showed no signs of scale. The tent was removed and the beetles were allowed to spread, becoming the first insect species to be deliberately introduced to North America for the purpose of biological control. • More shipments of the insect followed, and it took only two years and $1,500 worth of the bugs to control the scale infestation. • Soon the bug had spread nationwide, becoming America’s most beloved insect. Today the bright red insect is a favorite of children and many people consider it good luck to have one of these flying beetles land on them. What is the name of the beetle that saved the citrus groves? Answer: The ladybug.
THE BENEFICIAL BEETLE
• Worldwide, there are about 4,500 different species of ladybugs. Of those, about 400 kinds are found in North America, including the type imported from Australia. • It takes 3,000 ladybugs to protect an acre of orange trees.
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• Ladybugs are also beloved by gardeners because they eat aphids, devouring as many as 5,000 during Answer: Dell. the course of their lifetime. Ladybugs can eat up to 75 aphids in a single day. A VERY LARGE NUMBER • Ladybugs were named after the Virgin Mary • Edward Kasner was a mathematician. In 1938 and to be called "theupbeetles Our Lady," he used was asked to come with aofname for a probably insectsone, were ravagvery largebecause number:when the numeral followed by the a hundred zeros. He askedcalled his two ing crops and the peasants outyoung to the nephewsfor what name they would suggest. heavens help, ladybugs showed up to save crop. •the Nine-year-old Milton suggested a name out of the funnies. A cartoon stripincharacter • Not only are they called ladybugs our lannamed Barney was very popular. Milton chose guage, but in various other languages as well. In Barney’s last name for the number. Scandinavia, they’re called ‘cyckelpiga’ mean•ing Kasner announced the new for the big ‘Our Lady’s key-maid’ andname in France they’re number in his next book, altering the spelling. known as ‘betes de la Vierge’ meaning ‘animals •ofSixty later, Larry Page the years Virgin.’ Ladybugs are and alsoSergey called Brin lady developed a new internet search engine. beetles or, in Europe, ladybird beetles. Other search engines searched each webpage and • Inranked England, ladybugs hopstimes vines, themthe according to live howon many a specific appeared them, Page and which areterm burned at theonend of but each season. Brinwanting designed search enginebugs to search Not to their see the beneficial burn for up, specific term and then find out away: how many athe rhyme was made up to warn them "Lalinks there wereflythat ledhome back/ to thathouse page,is dybug, ladybug, away Your which resulted in a better search engine. on fire and your children are gone." • They decided they needed a name that • When underhow attack, ladybugs will the feignsearch death reflected many websites by falling over and secreting a blood-like subengine was searching. They took the name stance from Kasner’s their knees. secretion poiof Edward veryThe large number,isonly sonous and it tastes bad. they misspelled it slightly, so it ended up being spelled exactly the same way the cartoon • They smell with their feet and antennae. Their character Barney spelled his last name. What’s jaws chew side-to-side instead of up and down. it called? (Answer at bottom of page) The color of a ladybug’s spots begins to fade as COMPUTER FACTS the insect ages. Females are larger than males. •They In 1981 Bill active Gates atsaid, “640 kb of memory are most temperatures around 75 F. ought to be enough for anybody.” • When a female ladybug lays her eggs, she will • Moore’s Law states that computer performance also lay a batch of unfertilized eggs. When the doubles every 18 to 24 months, and ever since larvae will eat the unfertilized eggs 1971, hatch, this hasthey been true. as their first meal. • HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were all started in garages. Answer: Google, from googol.
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