- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Carnivorous dung beetle shuns dung and decapitates millipedes
If the sound of eating dung all your life doesn’t sound that appealing to you, you’re not alone. A beetle called Deltochilum valgum shares your distaste, which is quite surprising given that it’s a dung beetle.
There are over 5,000 species of dung beetle and almost all of them feed mainly on the droppings of other animals (and more specifically, on the rich supply of bacteria they contain). D.valgum is the black sheep of the family, the only one that has abandoned the manure-based diet of its fellows and taken to hunting live meat for a living.
By making small nicks in the millipedes’ shells, Larsen showed that D.valgum is an opportunistic hunter, and was over 60 times more likely to