Dung beetles have a rather odd lifestyle, but nonetheless they are fascinating for a number of reasons.

dungbeetle-X2(Public domain photograph by Alex Wild)

  1. Dung beetles help recycle dung by feeding on it.
  2. Dung beetles either roll the dung or bury it to prevent it from drying out.
  3. Dung beetles navigate to and from their burrows by the position of the sun and some can even navigate by recognizing the Milky Way at night.
  4. Female dung beetles, or sometimes both parents, may stay with their offspring after the eggs hatch and take care of them, something that is unusual with insects.
  5. Although most often seen on the ground, the adult beetles are actually strong fliers.

We’ll learn more about one of the first people to dung beetles for STEM Friday this week.