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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: dung beetles, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Dung Beetles

For the last week I keep watching this video about a dung beetle trying to push a turd ball up a blazing hot sand dune. You think Sisyphus had a hard time of it? He has nothing on this uncomplaining scarab.


I’ve considered before the heroic efforts of the tiniest things, and more recently been particularly interested in these industrious recyclers. I am sure an idea is brewing but I don’t know what it is: nonfiction, perhaps, or a picture book, or a novel. “Watership Down with dung beetles!” I ventured yesterday on Facebook, to a rousing lack of enthusiasm.

I guess people think dung beetles are gross because dung, but… well, without them, things would be a lot grosser. They consume some feces and bury more, effectively aerating and fertilizing the land they use. I have come to appreciate nature more, in my middle-ages, and the wonderful integration of the world’s species to function as a whole. Imagine the prairie three hundred years ago: buffalo gobbling up the long hoary grass and leaving these tremendous buffets for the hordes of dung beetles that followed, who repurposed the poop and fed the small birds and prairie dogs, which in turn fed the ferrets and hawks and coyotes…. Without the beetles, none of it is possible. And dung beetles serve a similar role across the globe, in various ecosystems, and are rarely appreciated (though the ancient Egyptians wisely thought they were sacred).

Few people can claim what the dung beetle can, which is that their mere existence makes the world an unarguably better place.  Dung beetles are also the only animal besides humans known to observe the stars, and I think this single idea is what makes them especially fascinating to me. The humblest creature on earth will climb upon its dung ball, orient itself by the milky way, and — I like to believe — make a fervent wish before it continues on its journey.

I think this will fuel a book but I don’t know what it is yet. I hope you will give it, and its heroes, a chance, despite their diet.

Filed under: Miscellaneous Tagged: dung beetles

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2. Bugs. Bugs. Bugs.

And the strongest ladybug on earth.

I drew this on a scrap piece of paper while I was making dinner over the past two nights. They aren't the most accurate bugs but some are recognizable, such as the dung beetles holding out on the ball of poo at the bottom. All bugs like poo, right? For the sake of this sketch they all do, okay? Good.

Click here for a larger view. This blogger preview thing is terrible for artwork. Hear that blogger? Fix it.

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3. Michelle Henninger

"Dung Beetles are NOT disgusting"
© 2009 Michelle Henninger
To view Michelle's portfolio go to:

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4. A New Zig and Wikki Adventure from Nadja Spiegelman & Trade Loeffler

There are three types of dung beetles! Thanks to ZIG AND WIKKI in THE COW I now know this along with many other facts about dung, soil, and cow patties. (My kind of science lesson!)  The duo from outer-space, once again, explore Earth in all its exotic splendor. 

Want to read the first Zig and Wikki adventure? See it HERE!

Want to know more about dung beetles? See Dung Beetle TV  and watch this video from National Geographic:

Thank you to Leigh Stein.

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