Kruger National Park

Why The Dung Beetle Should Be Your Spirit Animal

They aren’t picky – It is a known fact that Dung Beetles eat and live in poop. Enough said.

They are good parents- Dung beetles are one of the few groups of insects that display parental care for their young. Mostly the mother fills the parent role but with the Copris and Ontophagusdung beetles, the male and female work together to dig their nests. That said, Certain Cephalodesmius dung beetles even mate for life.

They know how to hustle –  There is a lot of competition among Dung Beetles. Scientists have observed 4,000 Dung Beetles at a fresh pile of elephant dung within 15 minutes after it hit the ground, and an extra 12,000 Dung Beetles joined the fun shortly after.

They like to try new things – Most Dung Beetles go into a frenzy once they discover the treasure that is exotic dung. Even so, some Dung Beetles specialize in one specific type of dung and pull their noses up for other “brands”. When settlers introduced livestock to Australia, the Australian dung beetles refused to clean up because they were raised on poop from the native Down Under. Around 1960, Australia decided to take action and import exotic Dung Beetles to get the job done.

They are hardworking – Cleaning up dung is not the most exciting job, but Dung Beetles do the job remarkably well. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.


Written by Tersha van Staden


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