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Old 01-29-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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beetle1 When Built-In Antifreeze Beats a Winter Coat

When Built-In Antifreeze Beats a Winter Coat
By Sean B. Carroll
Published: January 18, 2010

Remarkable Creatures - For Some Animals, Built-In Antifreeze Beats a Winter Coat - NYTimes.com
excerpt from above:
The threat to life at low temperatures is not really cold, but ice. With cells and bodies composed mostly of water, ice is potentially lethal because its formation disrupts the balance between the fluids outside and inside of cells, which leads to their shrinkage and irreversible damage to tissues.
Insects have therefore evolved all sorts of ways to avoid freezing. One strategy is to escape winter altogether. Butterflies like the monarch migrate south. A great solution, but this is a relatively rare capability. Most insects remain in their local habitat and must find some other way to avoid freezing. They evade the ice by crawling into holes or burrows below the snow cover and frost line, or, as some insect larvae do, by overwintering on the bottoms of lakes and ponds that do not completely freeze.

But many insects, and other animals, defend themselves against direct exposure to subfreezing temperatures through biochemical ingenuity, by producing antifreeze...
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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