Every beetle fan knows the story: “Darwin was peeling bark and collecting beetles. He had one beetle in each hand already, and he saw a third that was exciting to him, so he popped one of the ones in his hands into his mouth.” Curator and Schlinger Chair of Entomology Matthew L. Gimmel, Ph.D., told me this story the day I met him. The beetle Darwin put in his mouth to free up one hand “turned out to be one with really foul-tasting chemical defenses, and it released in his mouth. So he, of course, spit it out. He ended up losing all three beetles in the process.”
It’s a tale told so many times that Google knows when you’re about to ask for it, and there’s a reason for that.