Questions for ‘Beetles offer people lessons in moisture control’


Some beetles in the Namib Desert can collect moisture from air on their bumpy shells. This trait has inspired people to design more efficient water collectors.

Hans Hillewaert/Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

To accompany feature “Beetles offer people lessons in moisture control


Before Reading:

1.         How do you think animals get the water they need to live in the desert, where moisture is scarce?

2.         What is condensation?

During Reading:

1.     Where is the Namib Desert?

2.     What’s the main source of water in the Namib Desert?

3.     How do Namib Desert beetles collect water to drink?

4.     What’s the field of science that creates designs inspired by living organisms?

5.     How does a bumpy surface affect condensation?

6.     What trick does a cactus use to water itself?

7.     How do pitcher plants get food?

8.     What is capillary action?

9.     Describe the chain reaction that can make frost spread across a windshield.

10.  How did spacing out water droplets help researchers prevent ice from spreading?

After Reading:

1.      Name at least three applications for the type of research that was described in this story.

2.      What are some possible uses for these kinds of surfaces that were not mentioned in the story?


The beetles in this story come from the Namib Desert. Find this desert on the map. Then find and name three other deserts. Describe some similarities in where they are located on the globe?