Nature Blog Network

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dung Beetle Mistakes Millipede for Dung

A cool story developing about researchers who found a species of dung beetle that switched diets somewhere along its evolutionary history. From farmer to predator, the little bugger uses its hind legs for grappling with the millipedes while decapitating them with its jaws. These are the same hind legs used all other dung beetles for rolling dung into balls and the same jaws that once extracted bacteria from piles of dung...

It's a fascinating story at the BBC with a video of the act!


  1. Which came first, dung or the millipede?

  2. What about larval development - the article said the adults left the cleaned carcass laying amongst the leaves, implying that the adult was using the millipedes as an adult food source. Still unanswered is the question of what kind of food they are using for larval provisioning.

    Really interesting story!


  3. Wow. The world is always weirder than we think.

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