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How Male Beetles Attract The Ladies: The Smell of Sex and Death

We
all know that in order to attract mates, we need to smell good. But for
the hide beetles (Dermestes maculatus), smelling good with sex
pheromones is not enough. They need an extra oomph … and that’s provided
by the smell of death:

Christian
von Hoermann
, a forensic entomologist at Ulm University, Germany,
and his colleagues exposed virgin females to several potentially alluring
scents. They found that neither the male sex pheromones nor the scent
of a pig’s cadaver at various stages of decay were significantly more
attractive to the virgin females than the scent of a control solvent.
But a combination of dead pig scent and male pheromone had the females
flocking.

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Date
August 14th, 2012

Author
Stranger to the World

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