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2023-09-29 03:14:49

UnBEETable Facts - How beetles can help farmers profitability and ecosystem sustainability!

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Hey there .

Welcome back to our channel .

Today , we are diving deep into a world that often gets overlooked .

The world of beetles .

That's right .

These little guys may seem small but they pack a punch when it comes to their importance in the grand scheme of things .

From their incredible life cycles to their crucial role in maintaining our planet's ecological balance .

We will explore why these little critters matter more than you might think , but that's not all .

We will also reveal how beetles can be a farmer's best friend , helping them save money and improve crop yields .

Did you know that the Ancient Egyptians considered Beatles sacred ?

Yeah , they revered the scare of beetle associating it with rebirth and regeneration .

The dung beetle was believed to be an incarnation of the early morning .

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So God Keri , who was responsible for rolling the disc of the morning sun over the eastern horizon at daybreak , the behavior of the dung beetle which rolls dung balls and disappears them underground was seen as a representation of the sun emerging and vanishing every day .

The Ancient Egyptians believed that the Beatles dung ball was representative of the world and the Beatles actions kept the world forever revolving like its ball of manure .

The scare of beetle therefore became a symbol of the eternal cycle of life and was often used in funerary contexts to provide protection in the afterlife .

This made the beetle a favorite form used for amulets in all periods of Egyptian history .

So the next time you spot a beetle , remember you're in the presence of an ancient mystical creature .

Now let's take a look at why these little guys are so important .

Did you know that every day the animal kingdom produces enough dung to match the volume of water pouring from the Victoria Falls ?

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So why isn't the planet covered in this stuff ?

You can thank the dung beetle .

Well , these little fellas play a huge role in our ecosystems .

They are the ultimate recyclers .

They burrow into the soil , improving its structure and aeration .

So in a way , they're like earth's natural rototillers always working hard behind the scenes .

Here is something incredible .

I bet you didn't know dung beetles are capable of burying 250 times their body weight in a single night .

Over 7000 known species of dung beetles run cleanup duty across six continents every day .

And this is only about dung beetles .

In fact , there are over 350,000 species of beetles worldwide , also very involved in recycling our planet's dead waste .

That's more than all the species of mammals , birds and reptiles combined .

It's like the Oscars .

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But for bugs , a pile of elephant dung can attract over 4000 beetles in 15 minutes .

Most dung beetles fall into one of three main groups .

Rollers , tunneler and dwellers , dung rollers sculpt a ball of dung and quickly roll it away from competitors using their back legs .

Potential partners jump on the ball and when the mate is selected , the couple dig their dung ball into the soil and then the female moves a single egg into the ball tunneler are a type of dung beetle that doesn't mind the effort of rolling dung away .

Instead , they dig down into the dung , creating tunnels to bury pieces of it .

Male tunneler have an array of horns that they use to fight each other for control of these tunnels .

They protect the tunnel until the female lays an egg .

Some tunneler have evolved to be very smart .

They disguise themselves as hornless females and sneak into the tunnels to mate while the guardians are busy fighting each other .

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Dwellers are the laziest of the dung beetles .

They are happy to just live in the dung itself and there they lay their eggs .

This makes their offspring more vulnerable to predators .

Once the larvae hatch , it consumes the dung , then it metamorphoses into a pupa and finally an adult beetle .

So let's take a detailed look at how dung beetles are important for the ecosystem .

Number one nutrient cycling dung beetles help break down and recycle dung , enabling the nutrients in the dung to cycle through the soil .

This process is crucial for maintaining healthy soils and plants as they need nutrients to thrive .

100 cows will produce 1800 kg of dung .

Now , that is a massive amount of dung .

So there's a couple of things that can happen with that .

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It can either be processed by dung beetles and be a real benefit to our soil or it can be washed into our waterways where it's a real nuisance that dung has got fantastic uh nutrients in it .

It's got nitrogen , it's got phosphorus , it's got potassium .

They are all important uh nutrients that will enable our pasture to grow and by burying that dung .

The beetles also provide a food source for earth worms .

Number two , supporting food production in agricultural ecosystems .

Dung beetles play a vital role in supporting the production of food .

They help keep farm animals like sheep , cows and horses healthier by burying their dung which reduces the availability of breeding sites for flies that can disturb the animals .

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Number three , increased pasture yields , dung beetles contribute to increased pasture yields by incorporating organic matter into the soil , improving soil friability , aeration and water holding capacity .

This in turn benefits the growth of plants and the overall productivity of the pasture ecosystem .

Number four , pest control by reducing the populations of insect pests that breed in animal feces .

Dung beetles help prevent pasture surface pollution and the spread of diseases .

Number five air pollution reduction .

Some dung beetles have been found to reduce the methane emitted by cow dung by up to 40% contributing to the reduction of air pollution .

So dung beetles can serve as indicators of ecosystem health .

If certain dung beetle species disappear from a particular ecosystem , it may suggest that there are underlying issues with the health of that ecosystem such as the decline of forest mammals .

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They also serve as secondary seed disperses that are present in the dung by burying them .

They are also protecting the seeds from predators .

Even plants know how beetles are important .

One particular South African plant , Serato Carum Argentine has evolved to produce seeds that look like dung to trick beetles and make them bury their seeds .

Now , here is another astonishing fact .

The incredible free services of the dung beetles have been valued at $380 million a year in the US and £367 million a year in the UK .

Wow .

Isn't this awesome ?

So how can farmers encourage ground beetle populations on their land ?

Well , it is simple .

There are some best practices they can implement .

One is to minimize tillage .

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Ground beetles are negatively affected by intensive soil tillage which can lead to a decline in their numbers , adopting reduced tillage or no till practices can help maintain a healthy population of ground beetles contributing to soil conservation efforts .

Another thing is inter cropping and unders sowing , planting multiple crops in close proximity or sowing , cover crops between main crops can provide a diverse habitat and food sources for ground beetles .

This can help support their populations and enhance their beneficial effects on soil conservation and pest control .

Farmers can also maintain uncultivated or less cultivated areas on the farms such as grass margins and field borders that can provide suitable habitat for ground beetles .

These areas can support high insect pest prey densities provide a favorable microclimate and offer protection from predators .

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Once ground beetles are sensitive to disturbance events such as pesticide applications and burning , minimizing these events when possible can help maintain a healthy population of ground beetles on the farm .

Finally consider herbicide use .

Some herbicides can reduce ground beetle abundance and community assemblage through habitat modification .

When using herbicides , it is important to consider their potential impact on ground beetles and choose products and application methods that minimize harm to these beneficial insects .

Some beetle species are on the brink of extinction due to habitat destruction and pollution , we need to step up and protect these little guys because when a species disappears , it's like mother nature losing a puzzle piece .

Farmers play a key role to safeguard their survival .

So there you have it folks , the incredible often overlooked world of beetles from their life cycles to their ecological importance .

They truly are the unsung heroes of the natural world .

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Thanks for joining us on this be terrific journey .

If you enjoyed this video .

Don't forget to , like , subscribe and share it with your fellow bug enthusiasts .


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