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    WRESTLING FOR LOVE

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    By Jean Anselmi

    When male rhinoceros beetles want to impress the females, they use their super strength.

    During breeding season, the females release pheromones and numerous males gather for the honour. How is a beetle to choose? Combat of course.

    The males line up like gladiators or knights in medieval armour ready to joust.

    Being able to lift up to eight hundred and fifty times their weight, they lift and push their opponents until they break their horn, knock them off the tree, or cause them to run away.

    The winner is usually the male with the larger horn. The females do not have horns.

    In some parts of Asia, beetle wrestling is popular spectator sport, particularly in Japan, where the rhinoceros beetle features in film, television, and YouTube videos.  Rhinoceros beetles also appear in anime and advertisements. The Pokemon character Heracross is based on a rhinoceros beetle.

    Beetle wrestling is a common summer sight in Queensland and throughout South-East Asia where there are large populations of rhinoceros beetles. If you want to see some in action, you can find plenty of videos online. 

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