Milky Way stars provide navigational guide for dung beetles

01/24/2013 | NBC News

Dung beetles in South Africa rely on the Milky Way to tell which direction they're headed in, according to findings published in Current Biology. Scientists built a 10-foot circular pen, fitted different types of blinders to the dung beetles and observed their abilities to roll balls in a straight line. "This study shows that some insects can use the starry sky for orientation, even though they might not necessarily be able to discriminate the individual stars. In theory, insects could use any large and dense group of bright stars for orientation or nocturnal migration," the researchers wrote.

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