Dung Beetles Use Milky Way as Compass

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Poop ball making Dung Beetles actually use the Milky Way for navigation. So why does an animal who runs around hunting for poop need to navigate so accurately? Trace has the answers.

Photo credit: © Paul Souders/Corbis

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PirateBug59 January 30, 2013 - 3:01 AM

Oh, nice. I now feel slightly inferior to a Dung Beetle.

Adam Finch January 30, 2013 - 3:04 AM

I'd have gone with "smell you later"

Mitchell Wheeler January 30, 2013 - 3:07 AM

Sorry but Scishow beat you guys to this one.

lesorax123 January 30, 2013 - 3:17 AM

Guys, this stuff deserves to go viral but you just have to follow these steps EXACTLY. 1.DON'T ask people to subscribe, remember that you are the boss here. 2. DO only post 1 or 2 videos per week, each about 10 minutes long. 3. DO speak faster so that you keep the audience entertained. I normally don't correct other peoples work but I don't understand why this isn't viral yet.this should be the funny version of vsauce.

Trace Dominguez January 30, 2013 - 3:17 AM

well, $h!t.

rashes95 January 30, 2013 - 3:38 AM

My cat can make food from her food bowl dissapear

Icebear January 30, 2013 - 4:03 AM

To be honest, I like it this way, it gives me something to look out for.

Tony Bal January 30, 2013 - 5:07 AM

A bee can make honey.

Zamuroy January 30, 2013 - 5:43 AM

so you could if you wanted remote control a flock of dung beetles rolling poop across the planetariumfloor by rotating the starmap… and if the poop is fresh enough, you could write your name oO

Trace Dominguez January 30, 2013 - 6:38 AM

Right?! I need to learn this skill, stat.

K-Popular January 30, 2013 - 7:36 AM

i have two questions if you took a dolphin DNA and turned on the dormant gene that specifically made a dolphin grow legs would the resulting dolphin born actually have legs? could you do this with all its dormant genes?

Kaylee January 30, 2013 - 7:45 AM

Honestly, Laci Green is the original reason I subscribed to this channel because she is an excellent vlogger, but I have fallen in (platonic) love (if that is even possible) with all of you. Your guys' mini show has helped me learn a ton of things I wouldn't know otherwise and has made me look into more scientific-y things. Keep it up, D News!

TheMarglue January 30, 2013 - 7:57 AM

balanced on a ball, check, then fell off and broke my wrist…damn dung beetles.

Greg Pagdayunan January 30, 2013 - 8:36 AM

I like Trace….keep it up DNews..you guys rock!

Stuart Herrington January 30, 2013 - 3:54 PM

I'm a fan of dung beetles. Maybe they will be the first species to navigate out of our solar system, they're light, strong and durable, and maybe all that poop is for fuel.

Random_Human January 30, 2013 - 9:25 PM

I always thought it was cool how birds could navigate via the Earth's magnetic field.

Johnny Kat January 31, 2013 - 6:43 AM

i named my dung beetle Betty Poop.. poop poop de doop. la la 8-)

Travis sutton January 31, 2013 - 8:52 AM

D news. Dnews

Allex Radu January 31, 2013 - 8:36 PM

I hate it when people ask "see what I did there?", just let it lie.

shrikechan nahcekirhs February 7, 2013 - 11:45 AM

That is fucking cool

Anastasiya Popova February 10, 2013 - 9:23 PM

I loved all you puns! ^_^ and yes we are the bestest for wing able to care about these things. :)

Hellenisma February 22, 2013 - 8:44 PM

thanks man i was eating

Donald Anderson April 24, 2013 - 5:14 AM

I'm loving the grazing buffalo in the back ground.

David B June 6, 2013 - 9:55 PM

Thats a sweet shirt where did you get that!?

bnuuy July 11, 2013 - 3:23 AM

When i read the title, I thought they meant candy bar milky ways

Ashley Mason August 6, 2013 - 4:22 AM

I'm only alive because I'm balancing on a giant ball.

Lynn Davis August 8, 2013 - 2:10 PM

I balanced on poop once. It was an accident.

cookiecan10 November 27, 2013 - 3:44 AM

i can walk on a ball

Scientist1642 December 29, 2013 - 9:37 PM


Gala Glyphon January 25, 2014 - 10:07 AM

Ei like you.
and Ei also want that shirt.

Jordan Constana September 12, 2014 - 7:30 AM

If it eats poop, does it poop poop

Kevin Higby November 7, 2014 - 10:00 AM

Yet another animal light pollution impacts.

narlycat January 2, 2015 - 6:43 PM

Now we know why the Egyptians worshipped beetles, the creatures knew where we come from.

Andre Park June 26, 2015 - 7:05 PM

cant navigate via milky way but can balance on balls

M.K.D. November 11, 2017 - 9:02 PM

Beetles are talented no matter if it's a band of musicians or insects!

BO NES May 26, 2019 - 11:48 PM

You sound like your'e in love.

Walt F. June 16, 2019 - 4:55 AM

How can the dung beetle see the Milky Way with its ass stuck up in the air?

Walt F. June 16, 2019 - 4:58 AM

I read in Scientific American that the Milky Way is about 13% brighter at one end than at the other end, so the beetles can tell which way to go.

Cletis Evans October 21, 2020 - 11:17 PM

Scarab uses the cats eye milkyway because Bassett was the only survivor of our galaxy,giving Zeus/Ra and Cleopatra/Medusa knowledge of alternate universes and hope to achieve stable sun/moon/earth orbit.Bassett's cat eye opens in a slit oval () opposed to O human eyes leading Scarab to spin inside ostrich eggs to ramp and bounce moon/draco egg off earth in a stuck rotation to stop Floods that covered earth. Man came from land, women came from sea