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10 Superhero Powers of the Animal Kingdom


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The Brawniest Animal Is a ... Beetle?
Hello, Geotrupes egeriei. Did you know that you're related to the strongest animal in the whole world? Aaron Ansarov/Aurora/Getty Images
Hello, Geotrupes egeriei. Did you know that you're related to the strongest animal in the whole world? Aaron Ansarov/Aurora/Getty Images

No list of superheroes would be complete without an example of sheer brute strength, like the Hulk's bulging muscles ripping through his shirts. Or perhaps your mind jumps to the unrivaled brawn of the male horned dung beetle Onthophagus Taurus?

Well, maybe it should. Because the dung beetle is actually the strongest animal in the whole dang world, able to pull 1,140 times its own body weight [source: Courage]. And I can't even do a pull-up.

But our dung beetle hero becomes even more of an action star when you hear why he's so strong. It's his insatiable sexual appetite (or just the biological need to breed) that necessitates such burliness. A female dung beetle excavates under dung to create a cozy spot for mating. If more than one male enters the love den, the brutes must lock horns and push, pull and otherwise force the weaker competitor out [source: Courage].

But don't discount feebler beetles: These smaller guys can walk faster and sneak in to the tunnel easier -- and they even have higher testes mass to make their encounter more likely to result in impregnating the female [source: Knell and Simmons]. Who's super now?


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