Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'm a dung beetle & that mess is my food!

Strolling around in a scrub jungle has certain advantages, and disadvantages. It puts you close to the action and gives a grandstand view of the happenings in the undergrowth. Of course, it also makes you a tempting target for thorn's, bugs and leeches. In the preoccupation to avoid the latter we may miss some interesting things closer to the ground.

The dung beetle maybe an uninteresting creature and to many of us the porcine equivalent of the insect world because of it's habits. Let me assure you, a closer look will halt you in your tracks. It is an enterprising creature and will fight to keep its mess ..... Er! I mean it's prize.

Dung beetles are classified into rollers, (the one in the picture) tunnelers & dwellers. Rollers simply roll the dung into balls and roll them off to the to use as food or a brood chamber. The tunnelers bury the dung where the find it and the dweller s simply live in dung (Yuck!)