Light Pollution leading to demise of dung beetles

7 years 6 months ago #96528 by albertw
well, that's stretching it a bit but it seems the little critters may use the milky way to find their way. Their way in this case being the straightest line away with your stolen ball of dung!

"A day in the life of a male dung beetle goes something like this: Fly to a heap of dung, sculpt a clump of it into a large ball, then roll the ball away from the pile as fast as possible. However, it turns out that the beetles, who work at night, need some sort of compass to prevent them from rolling around in circles. New research in Current Biology suggests that the insects use starlight to guide their way. Birds, seals, and humans also use starlight to navigate, but this is the first time it's been shown in an insect."

news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/01/d...gate-by-the-mil.html

The paper is at www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(12)01507-2 (on the off chance that anyone has a sciencedirect account or wants to pay an extortionate $30 to read the paper... )

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
The following user(s) said Thank You: Seanie_Morris

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