STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Ingenious Dung Beetles

behold dung beetle“Somewhere in the world right now an animal is lightening its load,” writes Cheryl Bardoe. It could be happening in your backyard, on a farm, in a forest, or on a grassland. Dung beetles, it turns out, are found everywhere on earth – except for Antarctica. And they are very busy workers. They also waste no time locating the dung they depend on to feed themselves and their young.

Within seconds of a cow pie plopping to the ground, dung beetles are there. They all want a piece of that pie! Some shape bits of dung into balls that they’ll roll to their nests. Others tunnel beneath the cow pat, filling nesting burrows with yummy dung for their young. And others just dive right into the dung before it dries up.

What’s waste to one animal is treasure to the beetles – and they’ll even fight over their share. Bardoe does a wonderful job showing us how dung beetles collect and move their resources, as well as giving us a glimpse of how the young dung beetles grow and develop in the poop-filled nest. There’s great back matter – including tips on finding dung beetles and some fascinating facts. And the illustrations are great.

STEM Friday

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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