Dung Beetles Use Milky Way as GPS
Birds and humans use stars to navigate, but can insects map their routes? For dung beetles, a new study says the answer is yes. The African insects appear to find their way via the Milky Way. It’s the first evidence that any insect can orientate themselves with the sky, and the first evidence that any animal uses the Milky Way as a map of sorts.
“Even on clear, moonless nights, many dung beetles still manage to orientate along straight paths,” said Marie Dacke of Lund University in Sweden. “This led us to suspect that the beetles exploit the starry sky for orientation — a feat that had, to our knowledge, never before been demonstrated in an insect.”