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Animals Nature

The African Dung Beetle navigates Earth using the stars

Not sure what’s more amazing about the African dung beetle, one that it rolls immaculate balls out of other animals dung or that it navigates the Earth via the Milky Way.

“These clever insects use the polarized light of the moon to navigate in a straight line,” writes Popular Mechanics. “Their eyes cannot see individual stars but a group of stars together, like the Milky Way, is dense enough to create a luminous line for them to follow.”

But entomologist and photographer Piotr (Peter) Naskrecki of the Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique believes the Kheper subaeneus beetles are more interesting for what they do for mother Earth. 

Few animals are as important to the African savanna ecosystem as the dung beetles and without their thankless toil the entire ecosystem would soon collapse, covered in a thick layer of waste. 

Piotr Naskrecki
Categories
Animals Science

Anthropologist Grover Krantz donated his body to science with this one condition

Grover Krantz was one of the few anthropologists who dedicated their time to studying Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot.

As a cryptozoologist, Krantz believed that Bigfoot might exist and did everything he could to research it. Five of his ten books explored the possible existence of the ape-like creature.

Perhaps even more interestingly, the peculiar scientist donated his body to science with the one condition that his dog Clyde, an Irish wolfhound, would be right by him.

“I’ve been a teacher all my life and I think I might as well be a teacher after I’m dead, so why don’t I just give you my body,” said Krantz. “But there’s one catch: You have to keep my dogs with me.”

Both Krantz and Clyde are on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.