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

Using scent detectors on their antennae, dung beetles home in on a pile of feces and descend en masse. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Dung beetles have a surprisingly sophisticated way of navigating the world," 24 June 2019 But Australian dung beetles were used to recycling marsupial dung and could not tackle the cow chips. Anne Sverdrup-thygeson, WSJ, "The Bugs We Can’t Live Without," 20 June 2019 And a scarab ring (which held amuletic powers in ancient Egypt) features iridescent wings crafted from, what else, but the actual wings of a dung beetle. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Jeweler Bibi van der Velden Converted a Church Gymnasium Into an Elegant Family Home," 21 Aug. 2018 In the right light and aspect, dung beetles are strikingly colorful and, yes, beautiful creatures. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "For hunters, South Texas colors a feast for the senses," 3 May 2018 Graney's version of her appears first as a precocious 11-year-old, redistributing treasury money from the military to the poor and ending a plague of flies with the help of her mother's pet jumbo dung beetle. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "In four hours, the Aristophanesathon never cracks the whimsy barrier," 18 Apr. 2018 The four zones are: Desert: Just beyond the entrance will be a dung beetle globe fountain, rope climb and an animal care facility adjacent to an exhibit featuring prairie dogs, burrowing owls and fennec foxes. Roger Showley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "$30M record gift will jumpstart a new Children's Zoo, opening in 2021," 12 Jan. 2018 But by the 1960s, native Australian dung beetles were struggling in the mire of sticky, non-native cow pats. Richard Jones, Smithsonian, "All Praise The Humble Dung Beetle," 10 Jan. 2018 Other studies have used bugs like mosquitoes and dung beetles, Gillett’s insect of choice, and could be added to rainforest surveys to increase the diversity mammals detected. Kyle Frischkorn, Smithsonian, "How Fly Guts Are Helping Researchers Catalog the Rainforest," 7 Aug. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near dung beetle



dung bath

dung beetle

Dungeness crab



Statistics for dung beetle

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for dung beetle

The first known use of dung beetle was circa 1634

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More from Merriam-Webster on dung beetle

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dung beetle

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