Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Dung Beetles are Extremely Cool

I've noticed little bugs scurry across the road quite a lot during my time at this college. Most of the time I've been too busy to actually go down and examine these bugs. Today, when I saw one of these critters crawling beside the road I decided to take a closer look.

What I found was the Dung Beetle in the process of rolling a ball of dung and trying to find a nest. Dung beetles are extremely cool creatures. From Wikipedia:

The "rollers" roll and bury a dung ball either for food storage or for making a brooding ball. In the latter case, two beetles, one male and one female, stay around the dung ball during the rolling process. Usually it is the male that rolls the ball, while the female hitch-hikes or simply follows behind. In some cases, the male and the female roll together. When a spot with soft soil is found, they stop and bury the ball, then mate underground. After the mating, both or one of them prepares the brooding ball. When the ball is finished, the female lays eggs inside it, a form of mass provisioning. Some species do not leave after this stage, but remain to safeguard their offspring. The dung beetle goes through a complete metamorphosis. The larvae live in brood balls made with dung prepared by their parents. During the larval stage, the beetle feeds on the dung surrounding it.

Here's a video from National Geographic that shows what the Dung beetles do.

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