This morning’s must-read: Matthew Cobb describing a new beetle with a marvelous adaptation.
Hear, attend and listen, O my Best Beloved, for this story – a Most New and Most Wonderful Story – tells of the most magnificent power of Natural Selection.
Long ago, in the High and Far-off Times, the Beetle lived near the Nest of the Termites, in the shadow of the Camphor-Tree. This was not a happy arrangement, as the Termites, O Best Beloved, with their High Falutin’ ways and most strong Sense of Entitlement even though they are nothing more than clever cockroaches, are the most biteful and fractious of creatures, happy to snip and snap at any passing Beetle, or indeed any animal that crosses their path.
But although the Termites would snip and snap at the Beetle whenever they could, he would not move his home from near their nest under the Camphor-Tree, for from the nest floated the most glorious scents, the smell of food from far-away fields – pomegranates and gingerplants, roses and cannas, loquats and lillies. And the Beetle, with his ’satiable greed, would sit on a small hillock nearby and twitch his most twiggly-twirly-wirly antennae and imagine feasting on the rich store deep within the termite nest.