Sadly, a Dung Beetle's Life is Just a Ball of Dung

Updated on March 10, 2018
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.

I Hope That This Introduction

is not too offensive because I wouldn't want to be held responsible for hurting an innocent person's feelings. I may not be able to fulfill this wish altogether, but I can promise that I will put every word, idea, and phrase underneath my Inner-GrammaScope and if I hear a dull buzzing inside of my brain, I will instantly take the "guilty" or offensive word that I can delete and go with a fitting synonym.

Picture taken in dry spiny forest.
Picture taken in dry spiny forest. | Source

So There I was

digging through and frantically-surfing the 'Net while I racked my brain to find what I think may be THE commentary that is sure to please--in more ways than one. I am confident that I have found such a personal commentary. Right here in front of my eyes lies the piece of work that literally flew off the page and as I got further involved with my subject, the deeper my interest grew.

And now to bring up my very interesting subject that I have purposely-hid away from you and anyone else because I do not want anyone to run ahead of others.

Let's talk about the Dung Beetle. I would bet that when you woke up this very morning you never thought that you would be sitting in your living room with a cup of coffee and reading all about the Dung Beetle. According to Wikipedia, Dungbeetles are beetles that feed partly or exclusively on dung. A dung beetle can bury dung 250 times heavier than itself in one night.Many dung beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or breeding chambers. Others, known as tunnelers, bury the dung wherever they find it. A third group, the dwellers, neither roll nor burrow: they simply live in manure. They are often attracted by the dung collected by burrowing owls. There are dung beetle species of different colors and sizes, and some functional traits such as body mass (or biomass) and leg length can have high levels of variability.

So now you and I can both share the intimate details of who I think dreads the light of each day that the sun warms as it rolls out of the east until it gets ready to rest in the west. Face it. Dung Beetles are important whether or not we humans, the so-called Top of The Food Chain, ever acknowledge it. God, the Creator, made everything in the universe to fit His specifications, not ours, or the Dung Beetle. Personally, I have to hand it to the Dung Beetle for being "Mother's Nature's equivalent of the United States Marine Corps or the United States Navy SEALs, for being able to move against obstacles bigger than themselves and give the over-sized burden all they have and never give up no matter what--and the resilient Dung Beetle fights with all he has and NEVER voices any complaint. I can tell you this: if I had been a Dung Beetle, I would be sitting in the shade with the rest of the Lazy, Impatient Dung Beetles--the insects that are not "on" the bottom of life, but "down in" the bottom of life inside the earth and still, they do not complain. They roll-up a sizable amount of dung and no matter what the weather is, the Dung Beetles go at it. They roll until they cannot roll the dung any further.

Right now, I would love to just offer my deepest apologies to the Dung Beetles that I have seen over the course of 64 years--and even as a child when I would see these little guys hard at work rolling their dung, I made fun of them. I feel really bad right now, Mr. Dung Beetle. I mean it. If I could go back to a younger Kenneth, and see you little guys rolling dung to beat the band, this time around I would stand up and applaud--the way that I am doing right here, right now. Way to go, Dung Beetles!

While I'm at it, I want my heart-felt apology to extend to those high schools, colleges, and professional sports mascots and tell them that I am sorry that in my 64 years of life, I have never heard tell of "The Denver Dung Beetles," or any name derived from the dung beetle to be this school's mascot to perform on the sidelines and that includes screening just the right student who will play "Denver Dung-O," who will literally roll a piece of Styrofoam painted to looked like a ball of dung so "Dung-O" can do his tricks before his legions of fans.

And I can extend my warm apologies to the major TV networks, CBS, ABC, CBS, for NOT taking the precious time to do some footwork to get a Saturday Morning Dung Beetle Caravan cartoons where "Darryl," the mild-mannered dung beetle, in an instant, can begin rolling this massive ball of stenching dung and before the villain can get the best of some little boy in "Daryl's World" the huge ball of dung that "Daryl" rolled at super-speed is knocked to the ground where "Daryl" and the cartoon police can haul the evil villain to jail.

Hey! Come to think of it, when The Beatles hit Shea Stadium in the USA, 1964, we didn't see their counterparts, The Dynamic Dung Beetles, who were four dung beetles who struck out on their own to get away from the rigorous rolling of dung into their hole in the earth to pamper their eggs for more dung beetles to replenish the earth by ridding the earth of all sorts of animal dung. And we couldn't find these super-talented singing Dynamic Dung Beetles? Too late now. I guess for all of the dung beetles, they had their shot and we didn't want to take advantage of it.

What hurts worse is when Punk Rock was new and all the rage was Johnny Rotten and The Sex Pistols--none in this hard, depraved nuance of Rock Music ever bothered to do things as low and disgusting as rolling balls of dung with their feet on the concert stage. Not even Ozzy Osborne and his alleged biting heads of bats off on live concerts was so low as the poor, down-trodden dung beetle. I have went from mildly-upset to angry and now I am really mad--red in the face mad as I can be for overlooking the hard-working dung beetles.

The list goes on and on at the places where the lowly dung beetle was never welcome. For instance, take the all-American institution, Public Broadcasting Service, and can you see what this wonderful entity would have meant for the dung beetle? PBS made (Mr.) Fred Rogers Neighborhood more than a household word, Rogers was an American fixture who stood only for the right and gentle way of life. But unless a concerned PBS such as The Ford Foundation reaches out and donates a few hundred million, the current generation of young people may never know the beauty and patience of the dung beetle.

Before I go I wanted to share a joke about dung beetles that I think will cause a smile to come to your face.

A male dung beetle was doing his daily work, rolling a big ball of cat dung, and his eyes caught the glimpse of a female dung beetle in the next yard rolling her own ball of dung and making it look easy. One ball of dung led to the other and before long, the male asked the female out on a date. Things went well for the two ground dwellers. Then one day they were married and the male dung beetle told the female dung beetle that he wanted her to stay at home and tend to the baby dung beetles. The male dung beetle got home from work one evening and right off the bat, his wife stormed at him, "Dale Dung Beetle! Are you having an affair?" "No, Dainty Dung Beetle, I'm not. Why?" "Well, I can smell that awful female perfume on your antennae." "Sweetie, it wasn't awful female perfume, but her poodle's dung."

I have two closing thoughts that I would love to leave with you. And thank you all for being patient with me during these journey's.

Why didn't someone write an American standard with the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and write it for the dung beetle's point of view?

"Row, row, row dung bee-tle! Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but some dung,"

And it seems to me that for hundreds of years, the Bald Eagle has been held in the highest of esteem as "our" National Bird, and rightfully so to be in that high place of honor, so now, let us form a group of Washington lobbyists who would put the Dung Beetle to it's place of honor. After all, we have loved the Bald Eagle for years, why not the Dung Beetle?

I am going to stop at this point because if it's one thing that I have learned it's I do not need to exhaust the facts of any given subject. Rather tell most about a subject and leave the rest for the reader's imagination.

And thank you, Dung Beetles of the world, for all of the dung that you've rolled and made our planet a more fertile and better scented place to live and work. I applaud you all.

To learn more about dung beetles, go to:

___________________________________March 10, 2018

Two dung beetles fighting over ball of dung.
Two dung beetles fighting over ball of dung. | Source

© 2018 Kenneth Avery


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    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 8 days ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi Ken,

      This was funny and informative and you wrote it with great creativity, otherwise who would like to read about dung beetles :-) I admire you for writing it in such an appealing manner.

      Btw, I was watching a documentary about dung beetles on National Geographic Wild channel set on the Savannah of Africa. This was couple of months ago and I instantly fell in love with them.


      Suhail and my dog K2

    • threekeys profile image

      Threekeys 8 days ago from Australia

      For some everytime I think of Dung beetles I go back to the ecological field study we had to do on dung beetles. It was both a fun as well as a learning time. I loved it!

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 8 days ago from London

      Very informative Kenneth about Dung beetles.

      You made it very impressive.Good work.

      Have a nice weekend.