Ori­en­tal hor­nets pos­sess built-in so­lar pan­els

World of Animals - - 10 Animals That Use Electricity -

Think in­sects are bor­ing? The ori­en­tal hor­net serves as a re­minder that mini beasts have more go­ing on than most peo­ple re­alise. These was­p­like crea­tures are par­tic­u­larly ac­tive when the Sun is at its most in­tense, which is an odd char­ac­ter­is­tic for hor­nets con­sid­er­ing they usu­ally sleep dur­ing the bright hours. By analysing its ex­oskele­ton, sci­en­tists learned some­thing re­mark­able: the ori­en­tal hor­net’s brown and yel­low stripes act as so­lar pan­els, con­vert­ing the Sun’s en­ergy into elec­tric­ity. The brown stripes trap sun­light, while the yel­low ones con­vert it into elec­tric power.

No one’s quite sure what the hor­nets use their elec­tric­ity for. Some believe it aids their me­tab­o­lism, some think it helps them to reg­u­late their body tem­per­a­ture, and oth­ers believe the elec­tri­cal boost might give their wing mus­cles ex­tra power for flight.

right This hor­net oc­curs in South­east Asia, North Africa, Mada­gas­car, Is­rael and south­ern Europe

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