Dung Beatles are Amateur Astronomers?
So have you ever wondered how bugs that make balls out of poop get around? Okay well maybe not, but I am sure you would love to know. As it turns out these poop-loving creatures navigate the terrain by channeling their inner Stephen Hawking, but Stephen Hawking does not play with his poop—we clear?
Despite never taking a course in the fundamentals of Astronomy Dung Beatles get around by focusing on stars. And Dung Beatles are likely the only insects to use this method of navigation—pretty smart for a tiny bug that amuses itself with poop.
As it turns out Dung Beatles don’t like other Dung Beatles making grabs at their coveted poop balls. So Dung Beatles will use the sun during the day to walk in a straight line away from the area where they gathered the feces, and the same area where other dung beatles are scavenging for the most malleable types of poop. And during the night the dung beatles will follow the Milky Way to achieve the same advantage. That’s come pretty advanced navigation skills for an insect. I’ll admit it. I’m impressed.
What do you think of these insect astronomers? How do you think they are able to actually navigate by following the Milky Way? How can these tiny bugs even see the Milky Way?