Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Could any creature evolve to breathe fire, like a dragon? © Getty Images

Could any creature evolve to breathe fire, like a dragon?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Move over, Komodo and Bearded dragons: the Bombardier Beetle is the closest we've found to a fire-breather.

Asked by: Robyn Woodbridge, by email

Advertisement

The closest equivalent is probably the Bombardier beetle (Brachinus species). These store hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide in separate chambers in their abdomens.

When threatened, the beetle can squirt these chemicals into a reaction chamber where they mix with a catalytic enzyme to undergo a violent exothermic reaction, expelling a boiling puff of acrid gas and vapour.

Read more:

Advertisement

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content