The small swimming beetles of the Australian desert live restricted lives.
Denizens of a series of underground, water-filled chambers, they rarely, if ever, get to the surface.And that raises an important question: How the heck are they breathing?
Other water-dwelling beetles that spend their time on the surface takes up an air bubble under their wings before they cast away, which they use like a scuba tank. Or,they have special hairlike structures that let them eke out their own air supply underwater.
Scientists who have taken a close look at these Australian beetles, however reported in the journal of experimental Biology that the insects use neither of these approaches. Instead, they appear to siphon oxygen directly from water, breathing, in essence, with their skin.
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The scientists have spied on the beetles by peering down boreholes made bi mining companies in the soft red rock around their watery habitats. After carefully bringing the beetles back to the lab, the researchers put them through a series of tests, which suggested that the beetles were somehow drawing the oxygen out of the water immediately around them. Strange fact Isn’t it ?
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