dung beetle


Definition of dung beetle

: a beetle (such as a tumblebug) that rolls balls of dung in which to lay eggs and on which the larvae feed

Examples of dung beetle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By limiting pesticides, natural biological systems that include dung beetles, earth worms and micro-organisms help rejuvenate soil health. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Put down that veggie burger. These farmers say their cows can solve the climate crisis," 6 Mar. 2020 When there are lots of species of dung beetles around, and faeces vanish quickly, an ecosystem is assumed to be in good shape. The Economist, "Scientific methods Dung beetles prefer human faeces to those of wild animals," 11 Jan. 2020 Among the insects dying: the useful dung beetle, which eats pests and redistributes nutrients in the soil of cow pastures. National Geographic, "What role do pesticides have in killing nature?," 12 Dec. 2019 To find out whether these same genes guide horn growth, Hu and his team genetically tinkered with dung beetles. Erica Tennenhouse, Science | AAAS, "Dung beetles borrowed wing genes to grow their horns," 21 Nov. 2019 Some antiparasite treatments in cattle can harm dung beetles, for example. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "€100 million German insect protection plan will protect habitats, restrict weed killers, and boost research," 6 Sep. 2019 In the new movie, the tuft has an even wilder journey, nabbing multiple minutes of screen time as it gets consumed by a giraffe, becomes part of a dung beetle’s haul and is carried by ants before Rafiki finds it. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Here's How the New Lion King Is Different From the Original," 17 July 2019 And now Dacke has discovered yet another tool in the same dung beetle’s sensory array. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Dung beetles have a surprisingly sophisticated way of navigating the world," 24 June 2019 In ancient Egypt, the most important amulet was the scarab, usually modeled after the common Egyptian dung beetle, Scarabaeus sacer. National Geographic, "6 surprisingly lucky animals around the world," 13 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dung beetle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dung beetle

circa 1634, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of dung beetle was circa 1634

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Last Updated

9 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dung beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dung%20beetle. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on dung beetle

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dung beetle

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