To accompany “The diabolical ironclad beetle is nearly unsquishable”
1. What is an exoskeleton?
2. What might be some benefits of having an exoskeleton? What might be some of the drawbacks?
1. Where does Phloeodes diabolicus dwell?
2. How much weight could the diabolical ironclad beetle’s armor withstand?
3. What are the two key microscopic features that gives the ironclad beetle its rigidity?
4. What substance glues together the layers of tissue that make up a series of protrusions, or blades, that connect the beetle’s left and right sides ?
5. According to scientists, what happens to that “glue” when the beetle is squished? What impact does that have on the beetle’s structure?
6. True or false: The front of the beetle’s exoskeleton is less flexible than the back.
1. Put on your thinking cap. In what ways might the design of the diabolical ironclad beetle’s exoskeleton help engineers design stronger structures? Where or how might such tough structures be used.