Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fun with feces

When you don't have any fresh content... you can always entertain people with a beetle and a ball of feces, right?

Enjoy a short video of a dung beetle (or "tumblebug") that Kelly and I observed at one of our favorite outdoor places- Desoto State Park. This was filmed back in late May (Memorial Day weekend) when we went to catch Redeye Bass at DSP. The droning noise in the background of the video is that of the 13-year Periodical Cicadas (Magicicada tredecim).



My favorite part is at 0:22 when the beetle climbs atop its ball of poop as if to survey a route to blindly push said ball of poop.

Kelly deserves all the credit for spotting this little determined decomposer. She spotted the the 3/4" beetle rolling its 1" ball from like thirty feet away... eagle eyes. Despite its relative smallness, I had never actually seen a dung beetle so large. The only ones I had ever seen were less than half its size. I thought the big dung rollers were only found on the African savanna, but I learn new things about the natural world around me almost everyday.

Dung beetle or Vigilant Tumblebug (Canthon vigilans)

Sorry folks, the poop rolling beetle is all I've got.

However, the first person that leaves a comment below explaining why dung beetles roll feces around wins a prize.
Don't worry... it won't be a ball of feces.

When you don't have any fresh content, giveaways seem like a good idea.

22 comments:

  1. why do dung beetles roll feces around? Cause they can! Hey did I win? ;-) mike

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  2. what else is dung good for besides hiding your eggs in and eating?

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  3. Mike/Royal Wulff, as fun as poop ball rolling looks, it actually does have a biological purpose. Thanks for playing though.

    Stealth, I assume that isn't your real name, I would have to say to that is a good answer.
    Of course when you hide your eggs in the ball, when they hatch they'll have to eat their way out. I think for most dung beetles it's just a method of transporting feces back to a burrow where they hide it with their eggs and it provides a food source for their offspring when they hatch. Very cool.
    So, Stealth, send an e-mail to jay.t.eubanks at gmail.com. I'll get an appropriate prize in the mail to you.
    Cool blog by the way. You have a new follower.

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  4. Very interesting , I've got a picture of one of these creatures on my blog that I saw last year here in Missouri. The only reason I even noticed the thing was that it was rolling around a ball 1 1/2" in diameter along the stream bank. Entemology lesson learned for the day , thanks Jay!

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  5. I was nervous about opening this post when I first saw the title but who could resist? Nice camera work. I always find this kind of stuff interesting and when I would tell my wife she would give me a weird look and then roll her eyes. I enjoy it though, thanks.

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  6. Some wild thoughts on a strange subject.

    Your creative

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  7. HPFF, I searched for your poop roller photo, but couldn't find it. I did find lots of great trout fishing in the archives though.

    Kiwi, I'm glad you were brave enough to check it out.

    Brk Trt, everybody poops, so maybe it isn't so strange after all.

    Sneektip, if it was crossing a road I would have to agree.

    Thanks for all the comments.

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  8. Jay - It's actually in the nature Photos from Streamside page that resides on my blog. It doesn't get much attention from me and the Dung Beetle may be the best nature shot on there!!

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  9. Jay - It's amazing what a guy can learn while goofing off on the web! I'm glad I didn't post captions with my nature pics stating what they were...I would have been wrong on both of the snakes. I assumed the last two shots were of a copperhead and although I wasn't sure about the other one I was told by someone that it was a cottonmouth. Looks like I need to study up a little on my snake I.D. , it's a good thing I don't believe in killing poisonous snakes (any snake for that matter) or those fellows would have been wrongly accused as such.

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  10. HPFF, nonvenomous water snakes of several species are frequently "wrongly accused" for being Cottonmouths. The Midland Water Snake with its reddish bands often is mistaken as a Copperhead. If you check my post called "Springtime is Snake Time" you can see pics of both Copperhead and Cottonmouth. It's funny, I've heard a whole lot of outdoorsmen tell me their snake stories and I think about 90% of the time they have misidentified the snake. They give a little piece of info that clues me in to the true identity, and it suddenly becomes even harder to listen to the stories of snake slaughter. I think people are more often wrong about snake ID than perhaps any other single area of outdoor/nature knowledge. It's sad really. Snakes are pretty easy to ID compared to other animal groups, and they're downright fascinating once you take away the fear factor.

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  11. Thanks man! I'll send you an email shortly. I hope the prize isn't the dung ball:/ I thought that dung beetles were only in Africa... I'm going to have to keep an eye out for them now. Thanks for being follower #3 as well!

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  12. Thanks for the new lesson Mr. Wizard. I love it Jay.

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  13. Dung beetles...sometimes there is just no accounting for taste.

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  14. Thanks for the comments, gentlemen. I'm glad you enjoyed it... there's always more s__t where that came from.

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  15. With a title like that you're either a sicko or a scientist. There's a whole lot of fringe element in the blog world. You made an odd subject informative, funny and entertaining. Very cool Jay, very cool.

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  16. FR, I think I'm probably a bit of both.

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  17. Jay
    All I can say here is INTERESTING PIECE!!!!

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  18. Bill, all I can say is "thanks." I'm glad you found it interesting.

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  19. Jay, you have been named Versatile Blogger award winner. Check out windknots.

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  20. Cofisher, thanks. I'm still working on something about turtles for you.

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