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US professor awarded Ig Nobel Prize for OZ beetles' beer bottle-sex study.

Washington, Sept 30 (ANI): A University of Toronto Mississauga professor won the Ig Nobel Prize after he studied how an Australian jewel beetle died in the hot sun while trying to mate with a brown 'stubby' beer bottle, which he thought to be his female counterpart.

Darryl Gwynne, an international expert in behavioural ecology, and his Australian colleague David Rentz were awarded the prize, which is a parody of the Nobel Prizes, at Harvard University for their 1983 paper 'Beetles on the Bottle: Male Buprestids Mistake Stubbies for Females'.

Gwynne and Rentz were conducting fieldwork in Western Australia 23 years ago when they noticed something unusual along the side of the road.

"We were walking along a dirt road with the usual scattering of beer cans and bottles when we saw about six bottles with beetles on top or crawling up the side. It was clear the beetles were trying to mate with the bottles," said Gwynne.

Gwynne and Rentz revealed that the males were attracted only to the big and orangey brown bottles- known as stubbies in Australia-not to beer cans or wine bottles of a slightly different shade of brown.

They also noticed that it wasn't the bottles' contents that captured their attention.

The research was published in the journal of the Entomological Society of Australia and the UK-based journal, Antenna. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Sep 30, 2011
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