Jaws of beetle’s larva (magnified model)

Museum of Natural History of Venice

Museum of Natural History of Venice

The anterior portion of the jaw of this herbivore scarabeid larva is blade-shaped, while the rear one, broad and wrinkled, works like a millstone and is in fact called grinder. The same structure is found in herbivorous mammals, which have a buccal apparatus where it can be generally recognized a front portion in charge of collecting the food and a posterior one that finely grind the mouthfuls. Therefore, using similar architectures, herbivores otherwise very different to each other manage to ingest the same food, rather tough and hard due to plant cell walls strengthening by lignin, cellulose and sometimes silica, that requires a long chewing process (made by L. Possenti).

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  • Title: Jaws of beetle’s larva (magnified model)
  • Rights: Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia Photo by Barbara Favaretto - MSNVE
  • Scientific name: Pentodon bidens
  • Catalogue number: MSNVE-21961