Researchers have known for a few years now that the dung beetle uses the Milky Way galaxy as a map to get itself across the landscape, as it pushes a precious ball of dinner poo toward a safe place to eat.
Now, scientists from Sweden’s Lund University have established that all the beetle needs is one good snapshot taken of the heavens in order to find its way. It doesn’t “rely on an innate prediction of the natural geographical relationship between celestial cues,” as the researchers wrote.
And the kicker? The beetles take this single heavenly picture while simultaneously dancing atop their poo ball. (Discovery News)
Wait! What? Since when do we speak of dung beetles on SST? Well I think we can all take a break from the heady problems of a world that seems to be barreling down the road to perdition. Let’s slow down and marvel at the navigational techniques of the humble dung beetle... creating a mental star chart while doing a dance.
Closer to home, I’ve been enjoying the antics of the two Eastern box turtles that call my yard home. I’ve spotted them off and on for several years. Last Fall I caught them in flagrante delicto clearly engaging in something out of the Kama Sutra Testudo.
Over the last two weeks I’ve spotted them in the flower garden outside my front door almost every day. I figured they were feasting on worms brought to the surface by the two weeks of rain we’ve been having. I think the female has found a good spot to lay eggs in a heavily mulched area well protected by roses, Siberian iris and other flowers. Perhaps I’ll have baby box turtles wandering around my garden in the Fall.
Ain’t God great. Ain’t nature grand.