Beetle Mania

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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Caloundra
January 1st 2009
Published: January 2nd 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY


This is the Rhinocerous Beetle. Capable of carrying 850 times its own weight. There are plenty of these around.
DAY 55 - 1st January 2009 - New Years Day!

Well Happy New Year bloggers!

I stumbled out of bed this morning, feeling very tired from our late night (early morning), that had to be the latest we have been to bed since being in Australia so we are not used to it.

Andy and I had a great time at Ruth and Dave’s last night, it was great opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of and get to know other people too! Each person we meet along the way on our momentous journey, makes it that much more colourful.

New Years day brings with it the enthusiasm to get back on the road.

I had arranged a Skype session with one of my closest friends, Babs, as I knew she was having a small get together for New Year at her house. So I made myself look semi presentable (as much as you can in this heat anyway) to Skype.

Within a couple of rings I could hear voices and before I knew it I could see the smiling (& probably very drunk) faces of Keeley and Babs, both looking glamorous as usual. They asked if I was drinking, I said “yes, a cup of tea” and held it up to show them, It was 8.00 in the morning for me, although for all they knew that cup could have had copious amounts of champagne in. It didn’t.

We chatted for a while, wished each other a Happy New Year, Keeley assured me that I was not missing anything in England.

I needed to do some maintenance on the blog and upload some photos but I needed to go out to the truck for a vital piece of equipment, (My card reader). When I came back in I noticed that there was a green tree frog sat on the doorstep by the screen door. This concerned me as I had walked through the door on the way out and it looks as if I scraped its back when I opened the door. Andy came out with some water to splash on it, I thought it was dead, as it did not move when I knocked it with the door. A few splashes of water later, Andy lifted the frog, now awake to a safer haven in the shade. A good deed for the day and a good way to start the New Year.

Andy fitted the UHF radio, I helped, no honestly I helped, I was not a hindrance. I sorted out some paperwork that needed doing i.e. insurance and banking etc. with that all sorted we jumped in the pool to cool down late this afternoon. Today is another scorching hot day and any breeze would be welcome.

No one else has been around on Skype today, as I mention in the title this is a very quiet day for us.

We prepared to takes the dogs out for a walk, and just as we put their collars on Skype rang, and it was my Mum and Dad wishing us a happy new year, after about 42.41 minutes to be precise we ended the call and headed out into the evening with the dogs and the storm still building.

Whilst we were walking Andy had found a Rhinoceros Beetle, (made by Volkswagen, No not really) and brought it back to the house.
He did some Internet research on this little fella, and it is a fella, as the females don’t have horns (Only female Humans have horns... grrrrr).

Strongest Creature
You're probably thinking the strongest creature on earth is only a bug that fits in the palm of your hand? What about the largest living land mammal? You'd think something as massive as an elephant would be able to carry way more weight than a little insect. Yes, it's true. An elephant can carry a lot more weight than a rhinoceros beetle, but the definition of strength we're using here is one of proportional strength. A huge African elephant can only carry up to 25% of its own weight on its back. The rhinoceros beetle can carry 850 times its own weight. There's NO CONTEST. That would be like an elephant carrying 850 elephants on its back
There are 200 species of rhinoceros beetle in Australia.

What is That Horn For?
The rhinoceros beetle is aptly named because it has horns on its head, very much like the rhinoceros does. Scientists believe that the beetle has become so strong to be able to forage through heavy litter on the jungle floor and dig its way to safety. Using its horns it can dig its way out of a sticky situation by burying itself underground, escaping danger.

A storm was brewing in the night sky, an electric storm was illuminating everything and I just wished that I had my Canon camera with me, I would need to set it on a long exposure but we were out gathering something for tea and looking for a restaurant called Alfies where we are meeting friends on Sunday night to eat with.

We got back to the house and checked for Cane toads in the garden then let the dogs out before settling down with our tea, and some television, the weather station said tomorrow was going to be 31 C with showers. Thankfully a little cooler than it has been.


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