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Archive for the 'dung beetle' Category

Doug Emlen, a University of Montana biology professor, reveals the strange and endearing characteristics of dung beetles. He tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme about their unique biology and diversity and how the varied shapes of their horns affect their lifestyle. Doug Emlen is a professor of biology at the University of Montana and an expert on the evolution and development of bizarre and extreme morphology of insects. Always interested in animal armaments, he became a dung beetle aficionado after studying a Panamanian dung beetle specializing in howler monkey scat. Since then, he has broadened his research to dung beetles all over the world and has noticed interesting patterns in their weaponry. He has expanded his focus to explore the evolutionary forces that make animal weapons, from dung beetle horns to elk antlers to rhino horns, so diverse. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on June 7, 2010 and was rebroadcast on June 13, 2011.

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Doug Emlen, a University of Montana biology professor, discusses his research into the developmental and evolutionary biology of dung beetles in the second part of his two-part interview. He tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme about his many adventures doing research--from being charged by cape buffalo as he picks through dung on the plains of Africa to the strange looks airline security gives him when he comes back from his travels to far-flung places with his carry-ons filled with dung beetles. He also talks about how he learned to smell howler monkeys so that he could locate their first dung of the morning – and thus find the dung beetles that were the real object of his desire. The interview also includes a discussion on predatory strategies related to dung. While most predators don’t use dung to find their prey, because by the time they find the dung the animals would be long gone, some animals, like sloths and koalas, move so slow that they use a different strategy of burying their dung so that predators can’t find them from the smell. You’ll find out how some specialized dung beetles have adapted and hang onto the backs of the animals until the opportune moment when they drop down to be buried with their prize. Dr. Emlen was always interested in animal armament and became even more interested after studying a species of dung beetle in Panama that specialized in howler monkey scat. Since then, he broadened his research to dung beetles all over the world and has noticed interesting patterns in their weaponry. Now, he’s focusing his research on the evolutionary forces that make animal weapons, from dung beetle horns to elk antlers to rhino horns, so diverse. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on June 14, 2010.

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Doug Emlen, a University of Montana biology professor, reveals the strange and endearing characteristics of dung beetles. In this first part of a two-part interview, Dr. Emlen tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme about the biology of dung beetles and what the diverse sizes and shapes of dung beetle horns and armaments reveals about their lifestyle. Doug Emlen is a professor of biology at the University of Montana and an expert on the evolution and development of bizarre and extreme shapes in insects. While he initially resisted the idea of studying dung beetles, a failure doing fieldwork for his PhD forced him to change his tune. Now, he’s a dung beetle aficionado – and you may be too after listening to the fascinating life of this strange group of creatures. Dr. Emlen was always interested in animal armament and became even more interested after studying a species of dung beetle in Panama that specialized in howler monkey scat. Since then, he broadened his research to dung beetles all over the world and has noticed interesting patterns in their weaponry. Now, he’s focusing his research on the evolutionary forces that make animal weapons, from dung beetle horns to elk antlers to rhino horns, so diverse. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on June 7, 2010.

00:0000:00

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