For the dung beetle, crap doesn’t just happen. It’s very happening!
|The dung pat is attacked and rolled into balls. Note that a tunnel has already been dug|
Nature works in cycles. What is created must be consumed, only to be created again. What arrives must leave only to return. What rises must ebb, only to rise again.
The Dung Beetle we encountered at Agumbe is nature’s waste management agency. It plays a role similar to that of vultures in cleaning up rotting flesh. The Dung Beetle’s role, though it may seem unpleasant to us, is a significant one and may have been the reason why the Scarab figured prominently in ancient Egyptian lore. Whether the dung comes from an elephant, gaur or domesticated cattle, the Beetles work fervently to break it down. While the dung of omnivores does show up on the menu of a Dung Beetle Bistro, the creature’s preference is for herbivore dung.
|The beetle changes direction and rolls the dung into the tunnel|
These Dung Beetles may approach the dung differently, the work they do might come across as appalling, and the conditions under which they work may appear obnoxious and it is not surprising that these fascinating creatures are frowned upon by humankind with disgust. Show a dung beetle to a city-slicker and she’ll go: Ewwww, gross! But you might change your view if I tell you that a dung beetle does far more good to the environment than any other creature you might know of.
|Work done, and ready to enter the tunnel|
Before you go, watch a video of this dung beetle at work. Don’t miss how it changes direction like a tiny earthmover.
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