All the dung you can eat

Dung beetle and toilet
A quiet spot of fishing

Instead of the daily roll, I thought I’d start the day with a spot of fishing.

It was quite satisfying and very relaxing in comparison.

But did you know that I’m not the only dung beetle keen to expand on my daily dung intake with some more, let’s call it exotic dung.

A recent research project lead by Sean Whippie and Wayatt Hoback involved the team catching various dung beetle species to see which dung they preferred (the beetles that is, not the researchers). A series of pitfall traps were set up with a variety of dung delights – all you could eat herbivore, omnivore and carnivore dung, including exotic human, chimpanzee zebra, donkey, moose and waterbuck. (I wonder who volunteered for the human samples?)

Dung beetle protecting his turf
The word has got on and I’ve needed to defend my turf.

Surprisingly to the human researchers (but not me), the dung beetles were particularly fond of exotic dung and showed little interest for their local dung source found in ample supply on the great plains of the North America – the bison.

After two years of playing with dung and capturing over 9,000 dung beetles, the data indicated that of the omnivore samples provided, human and chimpanzee were top of the favourites list.

Reference: Science daily Exotic manure is sure to lure dung connoisseur

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