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  Poo-eating beetle uses moonlight as a guide
Updated 02 July 2003, 18.02
The African dung beetle
Scientists have discovered why poo-eating beetles are really good at finding their dinner.

They say the African dung beetle's secret weapon is the light of the moon, which it uses to find its way!

The beetle's diet is made up of the poo of large mammals.

It sniffs out a pile of dung, rolls a section of it into a ball and then quickly rolls it away.

But it often does it in an amazingly straight line.

It's so quick at getting its dinner that other creatures rarely get to steal its dung.

The Moon
The Moon

Scientists were so amazed by the beetle's sense of direction they decided to study how it did it.

Many creatures use the light of the sun to find their way.

But the scientists realised the beetle must be using the moonlight as its guide because it only lost its way on cloudy nights or when they couldn't see moonlight.

Exciting

The discovery is being seen as a exciting breakthrough.

It's the first evidence animals use moonlight to guide them, and they think it could be happening across the animal kingdom.

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