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. Itâ€™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.
â€œEven on clear, moonless nights, many dung beetles still manage to orientate along straight paths,â€ said Marie Dacke of Lund University in Sweden. â€œThis led us to suspect that the beetles exploit the starry sky for orientation â€” a feat that had, to our knowledge, never before been demonstrated in an insect.â€