Beware of Rolling Poop-Balls, Warns National Park

The interwebs is full of fun, yet interesting things. And hey, you can you learn something every once in a while too! Like did you know there’s a type of beetle that uses animal excrement to reproduce?

Well it’s the Dung Beetle and The National Park Service sent out a warning last week to watch for potential rolling balls of poop when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The post reads:

It’s like they always say: “When life gives you crap……

….roll it into a ball, lay an egg inside it, bury it, and use it to nourish your offspring!”

At least, that’s what dung beetles and tumblebugs do. This tumblebug (Canthon sp.) is one of the many beetles found in the Smokies that relies on animal scat to complete its life cycle. The female tumblebug will lay only one egg inside each ball of dung, allowing the developing larvae to have all the resources they need without having to compete with their siblings. The male will help bury the balls of dung in the ground for safe keeping. Dung beetles and tumblebugs do us a great service by keeping the trails clean and aiding in decomposition!

So if you find yourself in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, add rolling poop balls to the list of dangers while hiking.

[Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny on Unsplash]

When life gives you crap…

It’s like they always say: “When life gives you crap……….roll it into a ball, lay an egg inside it, bury it, and use it to nourish your offspring!”At least, that’s what dung beetles and tumblebugs do. This tumblebug (Canthon sp.) is one of the many beetles found in the Smokies that relies on animal scat to complete its life cycle. The female tumblebug will lay only one egg inside each ball of dung, allowing the developing larvae to have all the resources they need without having to compete with their siblings. The male will help bury the balls of dung in the ground for safe keeping. Dung beetles and tumblebugs do us a great service by keeping the trails clean and aiding in decomposition!Video by: Nelson Goodman; Video description: A dung beetle rolls a ball of dung across a trail.

Posted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, August 23, 2019