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 Rosie Drinkwater, a molecular biologist and postdoc at Queen Mary University of London, decided to test another widespread connoisseur of DNA-rich body material, the dung beetle. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Humble dung beetles may be ideal DNA detectors for animal surveys," 19 Feb. 2021 In one entry, a dung beetle climbs out of a dead man’s mouth; a jellyfish floats between buildings in another. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Dallas author Mike Soto pens a surreal journey through a fictional border town," 23 July 2020 For the nocturnal African dung beetle Scarabaeus satyrus, this becomes a useful reference point. Fiona Mcmillan, National Geographic, "From dung beetles to seals, these animals navigate by the stars," 4 Nov. 2019 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Dung beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dung%20beetle. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dung beetle

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