Scuba Diving Beetles

Scuba Diving Beetles

Similar to our scuba diving suits, water beetles have figured out how to bring air underwater for them to breathe. How does it do this? By using the surface tension of the water in their favor. Some water beetles use it by forming a temporary bubble, which serves as an oxygen tank, much like the one humans use in scuba diving. Other water beetles encase themselves in a water bubble, breathing inside of it while they are under water.

Predaceous diving beetles dive with a breathing bubble clasped beneath their wings. However, this bubble can be partially replenished. It draws water from the water to replace the oxygen the beetle uses. It is the large surface area of the bubble that allows it to exchange oxygen with the water. Scientists call it a “physical gill.” The bubble’s oxygen doesn’t last forever, however. Once it runs out the beetle returns to the surface to create a new one and dive down again.

Did you know there were beetles that can scuba dive using air bubbles? What do you think of their ingenious method of scuba diving?

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