Often dung provides a fertile material to nourish other life forms, such as this mushroom growing out of elephant dung:
Nothing typifies the role of dung as a nurturing material, though, as much as the wonderful activities of the
We got the opportunity to watch one when we were driving back from the home stay in Chik Yelchetti; since Girish said he had seen something, we stopped the car and I immediately recognized the beetle:
It was riveting to watch the little insect rolling the dung ball industriously along:
Ravi told us that it takes the beetle half an hour or an hour to make the ball of dung, and then it begins rolling it along:
It's amazing, too, that the beetle is rolling along the ball with its back legs, and it's actually travelling in reverse...so counter-intuitive for us human beings!
Here's a short video of the action:
For naturalists, too, shit (or scat or dung or faeces or whatever it's called) has its uses. While we were walking, Ravi, our guide at the home-stay in Bandipur, identified this Fox scat, and looked at it carefully for pointers to its recent diet:
In Daroji, too, Samad Kottur had showed us bear scat, and also showed us undigested parts of beetles which gave a clue to both the bears' diet and to the other insects found in the region.
So...poop is quite interesting and useful in Nature! :)