School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Dung Beetle

Dung Beetle (Canthon)

Habitat: They live in habitats that range from desert to forest.

Size: 1mm to 6 cm

Predators/Prey: They feed on animal droppings. Undigested bits of food found in animals dung is what provides food for dung beetles.

Life span: They can live up to 3 years

Interesting facts:

  • By eating other animal’s droppings and decaying materials they return nutrients to the soil.
  • A scarab that was worshipped in ancient Egypt is actually a type of dung beetle.
  • In parts of Texas, dung beetles bury about 80 percent of cattle dung.

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canthon bug

This is the original scanning electron microscope (SEM) image before it was colorized.

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canthon bug

This is the original scanning electron microscope (SEM) image before it was colorized.

bar graph icon  Vote

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.