Deconstructing pyrophilous beetles

On December 14, we got a glimpse of the Northwest Crown Fire Modeling Experiment, one of the most detailed studies of forest fires. Today, we return to the subject of forest fires: pyrophilous insect species like the beetle Melanophila acuminata lay their eggs under the bark of trees that have just been burned by fire. To find such trees, they first have to find fires, and they have evolved a dedicated mechanism for that. Their photomechanic infrared sensors can be modeled as a Golay cell, a schematic of which is today’s Open Access File of the Day.



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