Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Do we need a cockroach with a nightlight?

Apparently, Nature is unsure whether a bioluminescent cockroach was really necessary.  This newly described species, with a back surface configured to host glowing bacteria in a pattern reminiscent of a poisonous species, the click beetle, may already have been made extinct by a volcanic eruption.
On the one hand, the biomimicry going on here is really impressive. And everything that has evolved has some more or less useful niche in the Great Circle of Life.
On the other (unscientific) hand, I grew up in Florida, and one less species of cockroach really doesn't  make me weep. 
That mimicry is impressive, though. I suppose I hope the species survived.  But if one of these comes anywhere near me, I will still reach for the Raid. 

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