L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
California and beyond

« Previous Post | L.A. Unleashed Home | Next Post »

Dung beetle named for Charles Darwin


Recently, we learned that a newly discovered hairy yellow spider had been named for David Bowie.

Since the undisputed "rock star" of the field of biology would have to be Charles Darwin (no matter what Kirk Cameron may think of him), we can't be too surprised that the latest celebrity-namesake insect is a dung beetle named Canthidium (Eucanthidium) darwini.

The newly discovered beetle measures only about 4 millimeters in length and was found during a series of expeditions to the remote Talamanca mountains of Costa Rica, during which over 30 species of amphibians, beetles and plants were found.  C. darwini is one of about 180 known species of dung beetle native to Costa Rica, according to the American Museum of Natural History.

The expedition was founded by the U.K.'s Darwin Initiative project, which has granted funds since 1992 to countries that are "rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources to meet their objectives" for conservation.  (No word on why the dung beetle was named for Darwin, rather than a seemingly more prestigious amphibian.)  Researchers were able to coax C. darwini out of hiding by baiting traps with pig manure, a delicacy by dung beetle standards, the Telegraph reports.

This year marks not only the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, but also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark work "The Origin of Species."

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Undated file photo of the naturalist.

Comments () | Archives (11)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Too bad they didn't name it N. pelosii.

Naming a dung beetle after him? How...appropriate.

A dung beetle. How appropriate.

Wow, every comment written by the local hitler youth... how sad.

I'm surprised uneducated people like you read the newspaper

No greater love hath a man
than dung beetles named for his line,
to carry his name
be it happy or lame,
down through immemorial time.

The namer must be a true fan,
to purchase and transport the poop,
and later to spread it,
then gather and shred it,
to find the arthropodal scoop.

Identification is tough,
the specimens must be compared,
against other small bugs,
admixed with worms and slugs,
to prove DNAs are unshared.

Such dedication displays
significant inputs of work,
so don't think to complain,
when (s)he went through such pain:
there's no claim that Darwin's a jerk.

- - Burma Shave
( are those guys still around? )

Have we forgotten about George W. Bush so soon?

Did the dung beetle evolve from man? Please this is exciting news. Wait we still have man.But man evolved from ape. Wait we still have the Ape. Oh I get it the missing link. Yeah thats the ticket.

What exactly constitutes a "prestigious amphibian"? Is that one of the slimy ones inside the Beltway that thinks their dung don't stink?

I think it's wonderfully appropriate to give Darwin's name to a dung beetle (and no, I'm not being facetious here). Think about it: here's a humble little insect that has evolved to fill a very specific but also incredibly necessary role, most likely a role that has been tailored to fit its individual environment.

On the whole, though, it's fascinating to think about the fact that we've been busy finding and classifying species for over a century, and we're still discovering new species every single day. The world is a fascinating place!

Next time you come across a Neanderthal damning evolution, demonstrate how we literally embody evolution: Ask him to walk a few paces, noting for him how he swings his arms, in precisely the motions in which our four-legged mammalian cousins move their limbs, along the ground.

Proof, to those with the brains and the honesty to admit it, of the LAW of evolution.

We are NOT above anything else in nature. We ought to revel in our animalness. To stop hiding from reality, and embrace it, defines intelligence.

There is no superior being
and there is no inferior being
There is only being:
The colossal equality of existence.
~ john darc

Native Angeleno .et al...

Believing (and teaching) we are nothing but animals that evolved from pond scum, we treat other appropriately---like animals. Life is not valued.......from the time of conception until the gray hairs of wisdom are on our heads.

We are the crowning glory of THE Creator.

And our Founding Fathers thought so too,as they understood that all men were "CREATED "(not equally evolved pond scum/animals) equal .....endowed by their "CREATOR" with certain unalienable rights.....etc....

That was written a century before Darwin even existed, uh, evolved....

There is no LAW that proves evolution.....none. Do your research. Evolution is a tenuous position at best.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Pet Adoption Resources

Recent Posts