Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- A type of beetle of the family Scarabaeidae noted for rolling dung into balls for use as food or as brooding chambers.
1990, Marina Tyndale-Biscoe, Common Dung Beetles in Pastures of South-eastern Australia, [Collingwood, Vic.?]: Division of Entomology, CSIRO Publishing, ISBN 978-0-643-05090-7, page 2:
- What do dung beetles do? Adults and larvae of dung beetles feed only on dung and therefore are not a threat to the environment. This is in contrast to some other beetles found in dung pads, (not dung beetles) which feed on vegetable and other matter besides dung, while others are carnivorous. The activity of adult dung beetles can break up the dung pad, and most species bury the dung in the ground for feeding and breeding.
2005, Marty [Martha L.] Crump, Headless Males Make Great Lovers: And Other Unusual Natural Histories, Chicago, Ill.; London: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-12199-4, page 73:
- And then there are dung beetles, feces-eaters extraordinaire. The sacred dung scarab of Egypt symbolized resurrection and immortality, explaining why the ancient Egyptians often placed these beetles in tombs with the dead and why they painted dung beetle figures on their sarcophagi.
2010, Aaron Reynolds, The Dung Beetle Bandits, London: Raintree Publishers, ISBN 978-1-406216-56-1:
- Some dung beetles, called rollers, use their back legs to roll dung into a smooth, tiny ball. […] The ancient Egyptians believed that the sun was rolled across the sky by a giant dung beetle named Khepri.
2014, Emma Carlson Berne, Dung Beetles: Stronger than Ten Men! (Animal Superpowers), New York, N.Y.: PowerKiDS Press, ISBN 978-1-4777-0748-7, page 22:
- Without dung beetles, the world would be a dirtier place. Animal dung can carry parasites and other germs that can make livestock sick. Farmers and ranchers need dung beetles to keep their pastures clean. Dung beetles clear away 80 percent of the cow manure in the whole of Texas.
insect of the family Scarabaeidae