Mind your step! Parks Service warns Smoky Mountains visitors about beetle rolling balls from POOP along the trails
- A video shared alongside the message shows one up close to one of these insects
- The critters stand on their front legs and use hind legs to kick a ball with animal manure
- Tumble bugs, or dung beetles, lay eggs in every ball of dung where it develops
Hikers visiting the Smoky Mountains are well aware that they must be ready for wildlife sightings, whether they are black bears or one of the hundreds of bird species that find their homes in the national park.
But the latest report from the National Parks Service can even get a smile from even the best prepared visitors.
On Facebook, the organization gave tourists the heads-up on tumblebug activity on the trails – that is, animal poop balls that could roll your way.
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There are different types of tumble bugs – also known as dung beetle – in the Smoky Mountains area. Their strange behavior is not only important for their survival, but the experts also say that it benefits the rest of the ecosystem. The Parks Service shared a video of the activity
DUNG BEETLE FACTS
- Dung beetles can be found on every continent – apart from Antarctica
- They have a lifespan of three years and range in size from less than 1 millimeter (0.039 inch) to 6 centimeters (2.4 inch)
- Ancient Egyptians worshiped the beetle (also known as the scarab) and believed that a giant version of the insect turned the earth
- They are usually solitary – except for the period they spend with a partner before they mate
- Female dung beetles stay with their offspring for two months
- Scientists have found up to 16,000 beetles in a heap of elephant manure of 1.5 kilograms
The warning was noticed this week by the Charlotte observer makes it clear that these tumble balls of manure are just another part of the Smoky Mountains ecosystem.
A video shared alongside the post shows a fascinating look up close at one of these insects in action as he stands on his front legs and uses his hind legs to kick a neat package of scat to a new location.
For insects, manure left by other animals plays a crucial role in reproduction.
& # 39; This tumblebug is one of the many beetles found in the Smokies that depend on animal plaque to complete its life cycle, & # 39; said the Facebook post of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
"The female tumblebug lays only one egg in each dung ball, so that the developing larvae have all the resources they need without competing with their siblings.
"The male will help bury the balls of manure in the ground for safekeeping."
Hikers visiting the Smoky Mountains are well aware that they must be ready for wildlife sightings, whether they are black bears or one of the hundreds of bird species that find their homes in the national park. That even includes dung beetles. Photo file
There are different types of tumble bugs – also known as dung beetle – in the Smoky Mountains area.
Their strange behavior is not only important for their survival, but the experts also say that it benefits the rest of the ecosystem.
"Dung beetles and tumble bugs do us a great service by keeping the paths clean and helping with the winding up," the Facebook message adds.
So if you come across a dung beetle that is hard at work on the paths, it is best to just let it continue.
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