Agriculture produces enormous amounts of animal waste, which in turn emits great quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. But the dung beetle, which lives and feeds in feces, brings an unexpected breath of fresh air to decomposing cow dung. As the beetles tunnel through the dung they enable oxygen’s flow, limiting the production of harmful methane.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

RELATED LINKS

PLoS ONE: Quantifying Beetle-Mediated Effects on Gas Fluxes from Dung Pats
plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0071454

University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences: Spatial Foodweb Ecology Group
helsinki.fi/foodwebs/index.htm

BBC Nature: Dung Beetles Videos, Facts, and News
bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Dung_beetle

Science Bulletins: Dung Beetles Help from the Ground Up
youtube.com/watch?v=yscLQNHrowc

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…