Med Basin


The Scarabaeus sacer has achieved some remarkable things when referring to adapting to its environment. One major component of its adaption to the hot environment it lives in is how it moves. The movement of the S. sacer in the high temperatures focuses mainly on its flight and movement of their dung. How they acquire and move their dung back to their nest is unique and efficient. Their flight however incorporates an internal heating and cooling system that enhances their flight performance.

The S. sacers’ movement while forming their dung ball to bring to their nest is a really interesting adaption. Depending on the type of dung they are rolling depends on how they roll up their dung. If it is a small piece of dung they use their middle or hind legs to roll one or several pellets, and continually pulls pellets under it to form a larger ball (Halffter et al., 2011). If it is a larger pile of dung they use their clypeus and forelegs to cut away a piece of dung and push it under their body (Halffter et al., 2011).

When the S. sacer is moving their dung ball, its movement begins to be a rather unique adaption depending on if there are partners or not. When they move the dung ball individually they generally push the ball from behind. They put their head down and its forelegs are supported on the ground, while its middle and hind legs grasp the ball (Halffter et al., 2011). When there is a couple pushing the ball at the same time, the male takes the pushing position behind the ball and the female gets in front of the ball. She then pulls the ball with her middle and hind legs on the ground and pulls the ball with her forelegs (Halffter et. al.2011). Scarab heat

One adaption that could be a little better in the Scarabaeus sacer is their thermoregulatory mechanisms that determine the heat in the organism. Flying insects need to have high metabolic rates; this implies heat loss and heat gain while flying (Verdú et al., 2012). In the S. sacer, the thorax is the main heat generation centre and the thermoregulation is limited by the abdomen because of its passive thermal window. (Verdú et al., 2012). The passive thermal window only allows so much heat out and can sometimes be inefficient. This does not allow all of the heat out of the S. sacer and if it flies during the hotter part of the day it could over heat (Verdú et al. 2012). The heat transfer that occurs in the S. sacer is facilitated by the hemolymph circulation system (Verdú et al., 2012). Although these beetles may not be able to dissipate heat as well as some other beetles, they are able to sequester heat to a greater extent than other beetles (Verdú et al., 2012). This could be because of a greater development in the air sacs and a greater percentage of volume in the tracheal system, in the S. sacer (Verdú et al., 2012). With the adaption of better air sacs and a larger tracheal system the S. sacer is a fairly large beetle, which may be able to help them push large dung balls.

Scarab thermoThe Scarabaeus sacers' adaptations clearly revolve around its environment. Most of its movement depends on the dung it collects. Likewise, its flight depends on the temperature outside and distance it is going. Both of these factors determine where the beetle will have its nest, how far it will fly, and when it will fly.

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