January 24, 2013

Lowly Dung Beetles Are Insect Astronomers

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Even the humble dung beetle, its life spent barely an inch above the ground, pushing balls of waste, steers by starlight.

“Dung steered by the stars,” as my longtime friend Steve said.

Or, as Oscar Wilde wrote in “Lady WIndermere’s Fan”:

DUMBY. I don’t think we are bad. I think we are all good, except Tuppy.

LORD DARLINGTON. No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

comments

  1. Michael Grant Smith on January 24th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Wrong. Chrissie Hynde was the one who said that, not Lord Darlington.

  2. Sheila Ryan on January 24th, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I get all mixed up.

  3. rick neece on January 26th, 2013 at 1:45 am

    The lowly dung beetle
    No crown for his head.

    Don’t ask, came to me.
    Comes with a tune.
    Christmassy.

    I’m thinking.
    Wondering why most sculptures of
    “Reaching for the Stars” are
    Awful.
    But awful they are.
    Mostly they don’t convey the reach,
    I think.

  4. Michael Grant Smith on January 26th, 2013 at 7:04 am

    That is wonderful, Rick. Thanks.

  5. Sheila Ryan on January 26th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Yes, indeed, Rick. It’s all good.

  6. rick neece on January 26th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Dont ask how I pieced this together, but th7s photo remins me of the trailer for “star trek into darkness” I saw this sfternoon. Sent via my android (still cant taptype worf a dam)

  7. Michael Grant Smith on January 26th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    You said “star trek” and “worf.”

  8. rick neece on January 26th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I did. Say wurf, instead.