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  Worksheet: Beetle could solve water shortages
Updated 07 February 2002, 11.57

Use a dictionary to find out the meanings of the words printed in bold.

Beetle could solve water shortages

A super beetle could be the answer to water shortages in the desert.

The beetle has a special kind of shell on its back that acquires tiny water droplets from the atmosphere.

When enough of the miniscule droplets collect together to form a cumulative drop, it runs down the beetle's back towards its head.

The special shape of the beetle's back guides the water to its mouth, which means it always has enough to imbibe.

Top scientists

And now top scientists are hoping to appropriate its success to help those inhabiting places where water's short.

They have made a special kind of material that's like the beetle's back and collects water in the same way.

Eventually people in deserts might even be able to make abodes with the new material, allowing them to collect their own water.

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