Dung Beetles - Tasty, Tasty Poo Poo

Dung Beetles have a most unenviable birth place- they begin life in a ball of poo poo (or just plain "poo" for the more refined readers.) I can imagine the following scene when the larvae of the Dung Beetle hatches from its egg located at the center of the dung ball:

"Where am I? What am I? Who am I? What's that smell? It smells like poo- I wonder who stepped in that? I bet Mom is going to be mad! By the way, where is Mom? Uh, oh. I got some poo in my mouth. Mmm. . . Hey, that's not bad! Not bad at all! In fact, it's delightful! Oh, yummy, yummy poo!

After awhile the larvae grows to look like the Dung Beetle pictured above. And instead of giving up on the idea of eating dung, they continue to eat it even as adult. Sheesh, you would think that they would acquire a taste for other foods- like fresh strawberries or something, but instead, they continue to eat poo. Some species of Dung Beetles even develop preferences for the type of poo that they will eat- talk about being picky! "I'm not eating that cow pie! I prefer sheep poo, thank you very much." In fact, many Dung Beetles won't even need to drink water or eat any other type of "food" because they can acquire all of their needed vitamin and minerals from the dung.

Dung Beetles are a member of the Scarabaeoidea family; this family of beetles was especially prized and revered by the ancient Egyptians. In my opinion, this family has one of the prettier beetles, the brightly colored, metallic Rainbow Scarab (Phanaeus vindex). It is simply a beautiful creature; the following is a link to a great photo of it: http://bugguide.net/node/view/137556

Hmm, I wonder if Dung Beetles wash their "hands" before eating?


Ted C. MacRae said...

You know what I hate about dung beetles?

Their silly little shit-eating grins!

(I love that joke!)