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An ecological puzzle solved.
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So, it turns out that these cicadas can sing in the hottest hours of the desert day because they sweat! Diceroprocta is able to maintain this seemingly impossible lifestyle because it has tapped into a rich supply of water. Cicadas are members of the order Homoptera and distant relatives of the aphids. Like aphids, cicadas feed on plant fluids. So, though the cicada lives in the same macroclimate as the scorpion, it has tapped into a totally different microclimate. The cicada's scope for water acquisition is extended up to 30 m deep into the soil by the tap roots of its mesquite host plant, P. juliflora. Diceroprocta can sustain high rates of water loss through evaporation, high W e, because it is able to balance these losses with a high rate of water acquisition, high W d.
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5 years ago
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