Home > Papers from 2013 > Down with the dung – but looking at the stars

Down with the dung – but looking at the stars

We know that insects, as with all animals, will use stable features of their environment to guide behaviour. Occasionally we are reminded of this when we are presented with a lovely example of an animal being adapted to extract information from a novel source. Here, Dacke et al. show how dung beetles can use information from the Milky Way to help maintain a straight course as they roll their dung. This is the first demonstration of this in an insect and gives us another nice example of the situatedness of  spatial cognition in insects.
 
Marie Dacke, Emily Baird, Marcus Byrne, Clarke H. Scholtz, Eric J. Warrant (2013)  Dung Beetles Use the Milky Way for Orientation. Current Biology. 24 January 2013
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