Hi, everyone! Jessi here.
I hope you,hey, Squeaks! What’s going on?
我希望你 嗨 Squeaks！发生了什么？
[Squeaks squeaks, sounding excited] Whoa, no way, you saw what?
[Squeaks吱吱叫 听起来很激动] 哇 不可能吧 你看到了什么？
Squeaks was just saying that he saw a really strange insect today.
He said that was a black beetle that was pushing a big ball of dirt.
[Squeaks squeaks] Oh, do I know what it is?
Well, I think I do,and you’re never going to believe it.
The insect you saw was called a dung beetle.
Dung beetles are… well, they’re a kind of beetle!
蜣螂是…… 好吧 它们是一种甲虫！
Like other insects,
beetles have six legs and two pairs of wings.
But their wings are kind of strange.
One pair is hard and sturdy,
and it covers the back part of their bodies like a shield.
Then, underneath them is a second pair of wings
that the beetles flap to fly around.
Beetles are one of the biggest groups of animals.
There are more than 350,000 kinds of beetle around the world!
[Squeaks squeaks excitedly] That’s right, Squeaks,that’s a huge number!
[Squeaks兴奋地尖叫] 没错 Squeaks 那是一个巨大的数字！
Now beetles are general cool,
but dung beetles are especially cool.
They’re a specific kind of beetle,
and they live all over the world on every continent except Antarctica.
And most of them are pretty small,
not more than a few centimeters long.
Dung beetles come in all kinds of colors,
from black to shiny green.
And they have body parts that you can use
to tell them apart from some other beetles!
Like, they have horns on the front of their heads.
Dung beetles use these horns to fight each other
for things like food or to fight over a mate,
which is someone they want to have babies with.
Dung beetles also have strong wings,
which they use to fly around looking for,well, again, food!
And finally, dung beetles have really strong legs.
In fact, they’re some of the strongest animals in the world for their size!
[Squeaks squeaks] I know, Squeaks!
[Squeaks吱吱叫] 我知道 Squeaks！
I haven’t forgotten about that ball you saw your dung beetle pushing around.
Do you have any ideas about what that was?
I’ll give you a hint: It wasn’t dirt.
Hm, mud is a good guess.
But mud is just wet dirt and soil.
I’ll give you one more hint:
Think about why dung beetles might be called dung beetles.
[Squeaks gets it!] Exactly!
That ball you saw the beetle pushing was made of dung.
And dung is just another word for poop!
When a dung beetle is flying around looking for food,
it usually isn’t looking for seeds or fruit,
which are foods lots of other animals eat.
Instead, it’s looking for poop from bigger animals, like cows!
When a dung beetle is exploring,
it might come across a big pile of poop from a cow.
And when it finds one,
it will take some of that poop,
form it into a nice round ball,
and then roll it away!
[Squeaks squeaks] Oh, great question, Squeaks.
[Squeaks吱吱叫] 好问题 Squeaks
Because you’re right:
Touching poop isn’t something we should do,
because it has all sorts of germs that could get us sick.
So what are dung beetles doing with cow poop?
Well, lots of things!
Once they have a dung ball,
they’ll roll it over to the tunnels where they live.
And once they’re there,
they might bury the ball to save it for later,
or a female dung beetle might lay her eggs in the ball,
kind of like how birds lay their eggs in nests made of sticks and grass.
But the biggest thing dung beetles do is eat that poop!
They suck the liquids out of the dung ball,
and that’s their biggest source of food.
[Squeaks is grossed out.]
I see your points,Squeaks!
Eating poop isn’t something we should do.
It’s not good for humans or robot rats!
But dung beetles have been doing this for millions of years,
so they don’t get sick from it.
In fact, they get all sorts of good nutrients from the poop!
Nutrients are things like vitamins and minerals that help living things grow.
If you’ve ever heard about Vitamin C in oranges or calcium in milk,
those are nutrients.
Your body uses those things to help build bones and muscles,
and to keep your whole body healthy.
And animals like cows and dung beetles need nutrients, too.
Animals like cows get their nutrients from eating plants, like grass.
But sometimes, their bodies aren’t able to get all the nutrients out of their meals.
So some of those good vitamins and minerals
travel straight through their bodies and end up in their poop instead!
And that’s when dung beetles show up.
By eating poop,
they get all the nutrients the bigger animals missed out on.
And that keeps them healthy!
They actually depend on the cows to poop so they can get their food.
This is also why female dung beetles lay their eggs in poop!
When the eggs hatch, little larvae crawl out of them.
They crawl right onto the poop,
so they have a meal waiting for them as soon as they’re born!
Wow… thanks for asking, Squeaks!
I’m so glad we got to talk about dung beetles today!
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and we’ll see you next time here at The Fort!
Hi, everyone! Jessi here.