What do dung beetles have in common with celestial navigation?
Sara • 02/01/2024
What do dung beetles and celestial navigation have in common?
Astral Orientation: Dung beetles are known to use the Milky Way for orientation during their nocturnal activities. By positioning themselves relative to the bright band of stars, particularly the Milky Way, they can maintain a straight path while rolling dung balls.
Moonlight Navigation: In addition to the Milky Way, dung beetles are also capable of using the moonlight for navigation. They can adjust their movements based on the moon’s position and intensity of light, allowing them to roll their dung balls in the right direction.
Sophisticated Eyesight: Dung beetles have remarkable eyesight that aids in celestial navigation. Their eyes are finely tuned to detect polarized light patterns, including those produced by moonlight and starlight, helping them maintain their course while rolling dung.
Optimal Rolling Direction: The beetles choose the optimal rolling direction based on the position of celestial objects. This behaviour ensures that they move away from the intense competition near the dung pile, reducing the chances of their dung balls being stolen.