Great Smoky Mountain park rangers release rolling poop video

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(Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has issued an unusual video, alerting people to watch for rolling poop.

The park says on its Facebook page that the tumblebug is one of the many beetles found in the Smokies that relies on animal scat to complete its life cycle.

When life gives you crap…

It’s like they always say: “When life gives you crap……….roll it into a ball, lay an egg inside it, bury it, and use it to nourish your offspring!”At least, that’s what dung beetles and tumblebugs do. This tumblebug (Canthon sp.) is one of the many beetles found in the Smokies that relies on animal scat to complete its life cycle. The female tumblebug will lay only one egg inside each ball of dung, allowing the developing larvae to have all the resources they need without having to compete with their siblings. The male will help bury the balls of dung in the ground for safe keeping. Dung beetles and tumblebugs do us a great service by keeping the trails clean and aiding in decomposition!Video by: Nelson Goodman; Video description: A dung beetle rolls a ball of dung across a trail.

Posted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, August 23, 2019

It says the female tumblebug will lay only one egg inside each ball of dung, allowing the developing larvae to have all the resources they need without having to compete with their siblings for nourishment.

The male will help bury the balls of dung in the ground for safekeeping.

In addition, the National Park Service says the beetles also do hikers a favor by keeping trails free of aromatic decomposing animal dung.

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