- Not Exactly Rocket Science
This dung beetle’s air-conditioning unit is crap. No, really
Here’s a dung beetle, sitting on a ball of poo that it made earlier, wearing a pair of adorable insulating mitts. We’ll get to the mitts later…
The dung beetle, Scarabaeus nigroaeneus, as its name suggests, eats the faeces of large grazing mammals. When it finds a fresh pat, it fashions the dung into a ball and rolls it home, head down and walking backwards. That’s hard work. The balls can be 50 times heavier than the beetle, whose body heats up as it pushes around its weighty cargo.
Heating up is something that an insect can’t afford to do in the South African desert, where the ground can reach a scorching 60 degrees Celsius in the middle of the day. But