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In my continuing efforts to survey the horrifying world of Mother Nature, I'm proud to add bark and ambrosia beetles to the list (along with tiger mosquitos) of invasive species hell-bent on world destruction.
There was a time when bark and ambrosia beetles shared a symbiotic relationship with our world's delicate flora. Rather than eating the bark off of the trees, which often contains toxins to protect it from unwanted predators, the beetles decided to instead feed on the fungus that feeds on trees, much to the mutual benefit and delight of each. But any cuddly resemblance to A Bug's Life ends there, for in recent years beetles have been moving away from their evolutionary locales and begun attacking trees.
What caused their recent predatory behavior, you ask? No one knows for sure. Some theorize that a natural mix-up has occurred, where beetles are mistaking the scent of unfamiliar trees with food. The one thing scientists are certain of, however, is that trees unaccustomed to such attacks are over-compensating in their defenses, and in the process destroying themselves. Due to the migratory nature of the insects along with their quick reproductive cycles, the 'beetle problem' could take on biblical proportions if left unchecked.
So, add that to the ongoing list of shit you probably wish you never knew about.