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 Animals renowned for their outstanding night vision include owls, cats, tarsiers (a tiny primate in Southeast Asia) -- and even the dung beetle. Matthew Solan, Chicago Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024 Cockerill has spent over 20 years studying insects and relies on that basis of animal behavior to help filmmakers capture images like how fire ants create an ant-bridge in a backyard pool or how dung beetles climb out of piles of feces. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 24 Jan. 2024 In fact, the dung beetle is the first animal known to navigate via the subtle glow of the galaxy as a whole, rather than by individual stars. Breanna Draxler, Discover Magazine, 25 Jan. 2013 And there is probably less pig dung available for dung beetles. Bydennis Normile, science.org, 25 Apr. 2023 For example, energy spent growing one large body part may leave another body part smaller, as seems to be the case with the dung beetle's horns. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 29 Oct. 2013 The rotten smell attracts pollinators including flesh flies, dung beetles, and other carnivorous insects. Daniel Kool, BostonGlobe.com, 23 July 2023 Larger animals slough off DNA in skin, scales, and feathers, and researchers have also detected eDNA from mussels, sponges, dung beetles, spiderwebs, and even carnivorous plants, on land and in water. Byelizabeth Pennisi, science.org, 5 June 2023 Participants included experts on, among many other groups, bees, dragonflies, katydids, and dung beetles. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dung beetle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1634, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dung beetle was circa 1634

Dictionary Entries Near dung beetle

Cite this Entry

“Dung beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dung%20beetle. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

dung beetle

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

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