Sex with beer bottle
That's right, certain Australian beetles will try to copulate with discarded beer bottles, but they have to be of the right type - brown ones with bobbly bits on them. This fascinating observation made almost 30 years ago has finally landed entomologists Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz with an Ig Nobel Prize. The Igs are the "alternative" version to the rather more sober Nobel awards announced in Sweden next week. Other recipients this year of the prizes run by the science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research included the mayor of Vilnius in Lithuania, Arturas Zuokas. He was honoured with the Ig Peace Prize for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars could be solved by squashing them with an armoured tank.
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2011 Ig Nobels: beetle-on-beer-bottle sex and a wasabi-based fire alarm win big
Giant Jewel Beetles That Mate With Beer Bottles
Fall kicks off the scientific awards season, which revved into high gear last night with the 21st annual Ig Nobel awards. The ceremony, held once again at Harvard's Sanders Theater, played host to scientists, interested academics, Nobel laureates, mini-operas, past Ig Nobel recipients, paper airplanes, and this year's winners, whose research "makes people laugh, then think. The Ig Nobels are run by The Annals of Improbable Research , a publication that highlights real research from around the world that might be overlooked, but that still has the potential to make people think. The journal is open access and published every other week. It's chock full of research from innumerable journals the world over, containing gems such as " Apples and Oranges -- A Comparison ," " The Taxonomy of Barney ," and " Does a cat always land on its feet? First up was the physiology prize—a category that will also be awarded in the actual Nobel announcements next week.
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Why Beetles Have Sex with Beer Bottles: Q&A with Scientists
It was a case of a besotted male and beer. Love-sick and lonely, the male girded his loins and took immediate action to relieve his unhappiness -- but with a surprising outcome, as a U of T Mississauga professor discovered. The male in question, an Australian jewel beetle Julodimorpha bakewelli , became so enamored with a brown "stubby" beer bottle that he tried to mate with it -- so vigorously that he died trying to copulate in the hot sun rather than leave willingly, says Professor Darryl Gwynne of biology, an international expert in behavioural ecology, specifically the evolution of reproductive behaviour. Really, we've been sitting here by the phone for the past 20 plus years waiting for the call.
Nothing says science like a beetle humping a beer bottle - and it earned Professors Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz a coveted Ig Nobel prize. It was clear the beetles were trying to mate with the bottles. The male was Julodimorpha bakewelli , an Australian jewel beetle, and he died rather than give up. There was a reason.
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