The Kid Should See This

The GPS-navigated rolling of the dung beetle

From all across the galaxy, the light of billions of stars finds its way to Earth, passes through our atmosphere, and enters the eyes of a small South African beetle rolling a ball of dung. The beetle’s eyes are not sensitive enough to pick out individual stars but it can see the Milky Way as a fuzzy stripe, streaking across the night sky. With two of its four eyes, it gazes into the guts of our galaxy, and uses starlight to find its way home.

Dung beetles are fascinating creatures. Not only do they eat fresh dung, forming it into balls before they roll it home, but they also use the sun, moon, and stars to navigate their route. Related reading: “The poop-hoarding insects have an amazingly advanced internal GPS that allows them to navigate by day or night.”

Above, Flight of the Dung Beetle, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

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