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Dung Beetles – Environmental Superheroes!

Dung beetles are often featured in “if you think your job is bad…” jokes, but they are in fact amazing creatures!

Habitat

Found in deserts, savannahs, grasslands and forests on all continents except Antartica, dung beetles do not enjoy the extreme cold and dry conditions. While their diet consists of the dung of both omnivores and herbivores, they prefer the former for wider nutritional benefits. Some have been known to also eat fruit, decaying leaves and mushrooms, however, a diet consisting of dung only meets all the food and drink requirements of these hard-working creatures.

While most dung beetles detect dung using smell, smaller species cling to the host and await the delivery of their fresh supply of dung. Once collected, the dung is rolled without delay, as the dung trade is highly competitive and slack dung beetles can expect to have their cargo hi-jacked by industrious competitors.Dung beetles are the ultimate overcomers because they roll their cargo in straight lines, irrespective of what obstacles they may encounter en-route. This begs the question: how do they manage to stay on track?

 

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