- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Dung Beetles Watch the Galaxy (That’s How They Roll)
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 eat the droppings of other animals. They congregate upon piles of fresh dung, gather it into tasty balls and roll it home. Competition at a dung pile is intense and the path home can