Dung beetle mothers defend their offspring from a warming world by digging deeper

A road sign in Bursa, Turkey, warns drivers of the presence of dung beetles, stating "Attention! It may come out, don’t crush it please!"

Enlarge / A highway check in Bursa, Turkey, warns drivers of the presence of dung beetles, stating “Consideration! It could come out, don’t crush it please!” (credit score: Ugur Ulu/Anadolu Company by way of Getty Photos)

If the TV sequence Soiled Jobs lined animals in addition to people, it will in all probability begin with dung beetles. These hardworking critters are among the many insect world’s most vital recyclers. They eat and bury manure from many different species, recycling vitamins and enhancing soil as they go.

Dung beetles are discovered on each continent besides Antarctica, in forests, grasslands, prairies, and deserts. And now, like many different species, they’re dealing with the results of local weather change.

I’m an ecologist who has spent practically 20 years learning dung beetles. My analysis spans tropical and temperate ecosystems and focuses on how these helpful animals reply to temperature adjustments.

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