“…having only learned to recognize merde when I see it, having inherited no more from my father than a good nose for merde, for every species of shit that flies–my only talent–smelling merde from every quarter, living in fact in the very century of merde, the great shithouse of scientific humanism where needs are satisfied, everyone becomes an anyone, a warm and creative person, and prospers like a dung beetle…”
― Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
Prospering includes dancing, and now they’re being provided with rubbery boots made of silicon for some relief from their strenuous exertions.
“Dung beetles are the first example of an insect using a mobile, thermal refuge to move across hot soil,” researcher Jochen Smolka, a neuroethologist at Lund University in Sweden, told LiveScience. “Insects, once thought to be at the mercy of environmental temperatures, use sophisticated behavioral strategies to regulate their body temperature[s].”
The researchers discovered that beetles on hot soil climbed onto their excrement balls seven times more often than when on cooler ground. When the researchers painted rubbery boots made of silicone onto the legs of the insects to protect them from the heat, “beetles with boots on climbed their balls less often,” Smolka said. The scientists think the insects get on top of dung when it gets hot to give themselves a respite from scorching sands and help protect their brains from overheating.
I look forward to seeing kids imitate the dung beetle in discotheques all over the world. And I suppose we can now refer to the 21st century as the Great Discotheque of Scientific Humanism.
Read the straight poop at Live Science.