Dung Beetles Fight Climate Change?

Sep 4, 2013 Full story: National Geographic

It may seem like an unlikely environmental hero. But the dung beetle , with its sordid habit of laying eggs in and eating cow poo, might just be a weapon in the battle against global warming .

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“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

#1 Sep 4, 2013
Around me they have always been noticeable by their absence.

Living near a meat rendering plant however (2.5Km NE.) I tend to get a lot of mini larder beetles & the odd sexton beetle.

Have a nice day: Ag
LessHypeMoreFact

Toronto, Canada

#2 Sep 5, 2013
Adrian Godsafe MSc wrote:
Around me they have always been noticeable by their absence.
Living near a meat rendering plant however (2.5Km NE.) I tend to get a lot of mini larder beetles & the odd sexton beetle.
Have a nice day: Ag
Cattle have been imported into many new habitats and there is usually no local insects that will touch their droppings. This leads to massive buildup of 'cow pats' on the land. Dung Beetles are one example of an introduced species that does NOT develop into a local pest. They feed ONLY on cow pats and so are controlled by the local supply. They have been brought into a lot of areas that have started cattle farming such as New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar, etc.

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

#4 Sep 9, 2013
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
<quoted text>
Cattle have been imported into many new habitats and there is usually no local insects that will touch their droppings. This leads to massive buildup of 'cow pats' on the land. Dung Beetles are one example of an introduced species that does NOT develop into a local pest. They feed ONLY on cow pats and so are controlled by the local supply. They have been brought into a lot of areas that have started cattle farming such as New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar, etc.
The local meat rendering plant was set up to process cattle in 1995/6 (previously it was a real floozie and took in anything which was ex and had flies buzzing round it).
Dung beetles (before & after) have been noticeable by their absence.

The fire in 1003 during the hottest week of the 2000 period came just before a government inspection of the engineering works to check if the kit was working @ above the minimum temperature required to denature the BSE prion protein. The machine was actually running on tickover the day before the inspection @ the time the fire broke out (It had been running without problem since startup in 1976). The surmise is that since setup in 1976 the plant's engineering & boiler process works for creating MBM has been running at below the temperature required to denature the BSE prion (draw your own conclusions @ this point).

Since the rebuild, the number of larder beetles, sexton beetles & the odd African carcass beetle (imported with ex Zoo animals), has dropped significantly. The hideous smell is now only disagreeable, and the religious nutters in the way of the plume downwind are no longer holy rolling tooting, and now merely turn out converts. Note : current nutters involve the Hijaz Taliban Madrassa, and also the Youth with a mission school, currenly next door to each other. The latter day saints appear to have moved out after running out of moolah (they were already out of marbles).

Since the aircon fire of last year (installed after the 2003 fire to process & remove the oils making that ferocious stink), the smell has improved further, the main reason for this is now an in house installation to burn the bonemeal (it burns very well as the fires attested to) for internal heating and lighting.

Throughout the timespan Button beetles have largely been noticable by their absence as the bone meal is in pieces too small to support larval tunnels.

As an aside, the lost & the damned* working in & managing the plant have been very influential in local politics as a result of the spare money (definitely dirty) available for local council leaders to draw on. One feature of the politics has been the blacklist and occasional death of people that got in the way of the plant owners (all of the originals are now dead, most died of diseases caught from the throughput, and one in a crash caused by a load of goop shifting of its own accord {as it does} and crashing his truck turning him into throughput on the spot).
The current owners appear to have marginally better sense, but the verdict is still out on their morals.

The lost & the damned working in the meat rendering plant are only distinguishable by a legal history search. The Damned have prior criminal convictions whereas the lost do not.

Have a nice day: Ag

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

#5 Sep 9, 2013
Oops:

Still got problems with the send translation wi fi; (for 1003 above read instead 2003). The asterisk on the * part of the lost & the damned aside is also missing Insert if necessary.

The plant has not commented on its stance versus climate change directly.(I missed that one in the above post & remembered it now).

Have a nice day: Ag

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