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J R Soc Interface. 2013 Feb;10(79):20120801. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0801.

A mathematical model of the defence mechanism of a bombardier beetle.

Author information

1
Biomathematics Research Centre, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. a.james@math.canterbury.ac.nz

Abstract

Previous studies of bombardier beetles have shown that some species have a continuous discharge while others exhibit a pulsed discharge. Here, a mathematical model of the defence mechanism of the bombardier beetle is developed and the hypothesis that almost all bombardiers' defences have some sort of cyclic behaviour at frequencies much higher than previously thought is put forward. The observation of pulses arises from secondary lower frequency cycles that appear for some parameter values. For realistic parameter values, the model can exhibit all the characteristics seen in the various species of bombardier. The possibility that all bombardiers have the same underlying defence mechanism gives weight to the theory that all bombardiers' explosive secretory mechanisms have diversified from a common ancestral mechanism.

PMID:
23173197
PMCID:
PMC3565695
DOI:
10.1098/rsif.2012.0801
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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