How Dung Beetles Steer Straight

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How Dung Beetles Steer Straight. / Dacke, Marie; Baird, Emily; El Jundi, Basil; Warrant, Eric J.; Byrne, Marcus.

In: Annual Review of Entomology, Vol. 66, 2021, p. 243-256.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Dacke, Marie ; Baird, Emily ; El Jundi, Basil ; Warrant, Eric J. ; Byrne, Marcus. / How Dung Beetles Steer Straight. In: Annual Review of Entomology. 2021 ; Vol. 66. pp. 243-256.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - How Dung Beetles Steer Straight

AU - Dacke, Marie

AU - Baird, Emily

AU - El Jundi, Basil

AU - Warrant, Eric J.

AU - Byrne, Marcus

PY - 2021

Y1 - 2021

N2 - Distant and predictable features in the environment make ideal compass cues to allow movement along a straight path. Ball-rolling dung beetles use a wide range of different signals in the day or night sky to steer themselves along a fixed bearing. These include the sun, the Milky Way, and the polarization pattern generated by the moon. Almost two decades of research into these remarkable creatures have shown that the dung beetle's compass is flexible and readily adapts to the cues available in its current surroundings. In the morning and afternoon, dung beetles use the sun to orient, but at midday, they prefer to use the wind, and at night or in a forest, they rely primarily on polarized skylight to maintain straight paths. We are just starting to understand the neuronal substrate underlying the dung beetle's compass and the mystery of why these beetles start each journey with a dance.

AB - Distant and predictable features in the environment make ideal compass cues to allow movement along a straight path. Ball-rolling dung beetles use a wide range of different signals in the day or night sky to steer themselves along a fixed bearing. These include the sun, the Milky Way, and the polarization pattern generated by the moon. Almost two decades of research into these remarkable creatures have shown that the dung beetle's compass is flexible and readily adapts to the cues available in its current surroundings. In the morning and afternoon, dung beetles use the sun to orient, but at midday, they prefer to use the wind, and at night or in a forest, they rely primarily on polarized skylight to maintain straight paths. We are just starting to understand the neuronal substrate underlying the dung beetle's compass and the mystery of why these beetles start each journey with a dance.

KW - celestial

KW - central complex

KW - compass

KW - dung beetle

KW - navigation

KW - orientation

U2 - 10.1146/annurev-ento-042020-102149

DO - 10.1146/annurev-ento-042020-102149

M3 - Review article

C2 - 32822556

AN - SCOPUS:85099234272

VL - 66

SP - 243

EP - 256

JO - Annual Review of Entomology

JF - Annual Review of Entomology

SN - 0066-4170

ER -