Monday, May 18, 2015

Kenya Safari Holiday-Dung Beetles.

Also  referred to as the scarab beetle. Many dung beetles, known as rollers, are noted for rolling dung into spherical balls, which are used both as a food source and brooding chambers. Other dung beetles, the tunnelers, bury the dung wherever they find it. A third group, the dwellers, neither roll nor burrow: they simply live in manure. Dung beetles live in many different habitats, including desert, farmland, forest, and grasslands. Most of the times while on Kenya safaris, the dung beetles are seeing eating dung excreted by herbivores and omnivores, and prefer that produced by the former. Many of them also feed on mushrooms, decaying leaves and fruits.

 Most dung beetles search for dung using their sensitive sense of smell. Some of the smaller species simply attach themselves to the dung-providers to wait for their reward. Sometimes dung beetles will try to steal the dung ball of another beetle, so the dung beetles have to move rapidly away from a dung pile once they have rolled their ball to prevent it from being stolen. They can roll up to 50 times their weight. Male can pull 1,141 times their own body weight: the equivalent of an average person pulling six double-decker buses full of people. The "rollers" roll and bury a dung ball either for food storage or for making a brooding ball.

In the  some case, two beetles, one male and one female, will be seen around the dung ball during the rolling process. Usually it is the male that rolls the ball, with the female hitch-hiking or simply following behind. When a spot with soft soil is found, they stop and bury the dung ball. They will then mate underground. After the mating, both or one of them will prepare the brooding ball. When the ball is finished, the female lays eggs inside it. Then the beetle goes through a complete metamorphosis.

The play a remarkable role in agriculture, as they improve nutrient recycling and soil structure. They also protect livestock, such as cattle, by removing the dung which, if left, could provide habitat for pests such as flies.

On a completely different scenerios with any other insects in China, it  is used in Chinese herbal medicine.
In other areas, several species of the dung beetle, enjoyed a sacred status among the ancient Egyptians. The scarab was linked to "Khepri", the god of the rising sun.

And when doing  a Kenya safari, it is worth it to stop, and just enjoy watching the hardwork of this little creature of the earth. Don’t rush only to those big-five safaris, a Kenya wildlife safari has much more to enjoy.

Shared by Peter K. Philip
Kenya Safari Holiday
Natural Track Safaris

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