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Why didn't the beetle cross the road? (Environment).



A road that a person strolls across with barely a thought proves a deadly barrier for many other creatures and can disrupt the usual traffic of their genes throughout a population.

Most of the recent studies of this effect have focused on vertebrates, note Irene Keller and Carlo R. Largiader of the University of Bern The University of Bern is a university in the Swiss capital of Bern. It was founded in 1834. As one of the German-speaking universities in Switzerland its official name is Universität Bern, although it is frequently referred to in the French form, Université de Berne.  in Switzerland. These researchers turned their attention to the ground beetle Carabus violaceus.

This insect doesn't fly but proves to be a plucky pluck·y  
adj. pluck·i·er, pluck·i·est
Having or showing courage and spirit in trying circumstances. See Synonyms at brave.



pluck
 traveler on the ground. Other researchers had observed that another species of ground beetle is extremely wary of crossing roads.

Keller and Largiader collected their beetles beetles

members of the insect order Coleoptera. They are common intermediate hosts for tapeworms.


darkling beetles
this and other mealworms are common inhabitants of poultry houses and are suspected of aiding in the transmission of
 from eight places in a Swiss forest sliced by three roads. The biggest genetic differences appeared between beetles living on opposite sides of roads. Also, beetle populations confined to specific forest areas by the roads seemed to have lost some of their genetic diversity, the researchers report in an upcoming Proceedings of the Royal Society Proceedings of the Royal Society is a scientific journal published by the Royal Society of London.

Today, the Royal Society publishes two proceeding series:
  • Series A, which publishes research related to mathematical, physical and engineering sciences
 of London B. The scientists warn that expanding networks of roads could be reducing healthful health·ful
adj.
1. Conducive to good health; salutary.

2. Healthy.



healthful·ness n.
 genetic diversity in invertebrates.--S.M.
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Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 18, 2003
Words:180
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