Wouldn’t I love to observe a pilobolus!
“When turgor pressure within the subsporangial vesicle builds to a sufficient level (often 7 ATM or greater), the sporangium is launched, and can travel anywhere from a couple of centimeters to a distance of 3 meters (10ft). For a sporangiophore less than 1cm tall, this involves acceleration from 0 to 20 km/h in only 2 µs, subjecting it to over 20,000 G, equivalent to a human being launched at 100 times the speed of sound. The orientation of the stalk towards the early morning sun apparently guarantees that the sporangium is shot some distance from the excrement, enhancing the chances that it will attach to vegetation and be eaten by a new host.
Did you make an observation for the tiny beetle in the center foreground?
I think its great to record the butterfly association here in this project. Thanks for your observations.
I completely agree with you. This is something well worth studying. I noticed that grubs inside domesticated Buffalo dung are usually a part of breeding Hoopoe diet, and that White Wagtails love eating flies living on the dung. By chance, I witnessed a fresh human poop in the desert, being fought over by several scarab Beetles each taking a part and hurrying up a sand dune. The way they hovered like small black helicopters appearing from thin air was very interesting! And it is a rare experience, they are not that widespread.
Zookanthos, some people would be mystified at you being disappointed at not finding you were infected by digestive tract parasites. Others might be more understanding. There is growing evidence that the increasing rates of asthma and allergies in the affluent world are because our immune systems are underemployed. It is relevant that in the poorest parts of Africa hay fever and asthma are pretty much unknown. Apparently a hookworm infection, even a very mild one will clear up your hay fever overnight
I’ll admit to fascinated. Excited would be an exaggeration. And only after I’ve eaten my sandwiches.
Peter Skidmore wrote a book called Insects of the cow dung community, published by the Field Studies Council. It is out of print but might be online somewhere. It’s probably not very useful outside Northern Europe.
A more cosmopolitan one that I can recommend is Dung beetle ecology, edited by I Hanski and Y Cambefort, published by Princeton University Press, 1991.
Yet despite that growing evidence, it seems that the majority of the population are hellbent on making their immune systems even more underemployed. Mysophobia, even years before COVID, has been trending toward normalization, and I don’t think it is all marketing by the manufacturers of disinfectant products.
I’ve lived in rural areas long enough I can tell where I am by the smells, cow, horse, sheep, pig, fowl. All different smells. Now I can tell what the farmer is using…
The badness of the smell, well that’s as opinionated as asking about ugly bugs!
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