The Strongest Animal in the World: The Dung Beetle

How a tiny bug can outlift any other creature on Earth Meet the strongest animal in the world!
The strongest animal in the world is the dung beetle, which can lift over 1,000 times its own body weight.


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For those in a hurry:

  • The dung beetle is the strongest animal in the world, relative to its size.
  • It can lift over 1,000 times its own body weight, which is like a human lifting a truck.
  • There are over 5,000 species of dung beetles, and they live on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Dung beetles use dung for food, shelter, and reproduction. They also help recycle nutrients and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Strongest Animal in the World: How Does It Do It?

The dung beetle is a remarkable creature that can perform feats of strength that no other animal can match. How does it do it? Scientists have found that the dung beetle has a very strong exoskeleton, which is the hard outer layer that protects its body. The exoskeleton is made of chitin, a tough material that also forms the shells of crabs and lobsters. The exoskeleton is reinforced by metal ions, such as zinc and manganese, that make it even harder and stronger.

The dung beetle also has powerful muscles that allow it to lift and roll dung balls that are much larger than itself. The muscles are attached to the exoskeleton by tendons, which are like ropes that pull the bones. The muscles and tendons work together to create a lever system that amplifies the force generated by the beetle. The lever system is similar to how a crowbar or a seesaw works: the longer the lever, the more force you can apply with less effort.

The Strongest Animal in the World: Why Does It Need Dung?

dung beetle
dung beetle

The dung beetle is not only the strongest animal in the world, but also one of the most resourceful. It uses dung for almost everything: food, shelter, and reproduction. Dung beetles feed on the dung of herbivores, such as cows, elephants, and rhinos. They can digest the plant fibers that the herbivores cannot, and extract nutrients and moisture from them. Some dung beetles also eat fungi, fruits, and carrion.

Dung beetles also use dung to make their homes. They dig tunnels under the dung piles, where they store their food and lay their eggs. Some dung beetles can make balls of dung that they roll away from the pile to avoid competition from other beetles. They can roll these balls for long distances, using their antennae and eyes to navigate. Some dung beetles can even use the stars to orient themselves at night.

Dung beetles also use dung to attract mates. Male dung beetles compete for females by making bigger and better dung balls. Females choose the males with the most impressive dung balls, and lay their eggs inside them. The larvae hatch and feed on the dung until they are ready to emerge as adults.

The Strongest Animal in the World: What Are Its Benefits?

The dung beetle is not only the strongest animal in the world, but also one of the most beneficial. It helps recycle nutrients and organic matter from the dung back into the soil, which improves soil fertility and plant growth. It also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by burying the dung, which prevents it from releasing methane into the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

Dung beetles also help control parasites and diseases that can infect livestock and humans. By removing and burying the dung, they reduce the breeding grounds for flies, worms, and bacteria that can transmit diseases such as anthrax, tetanus, and diarrhea.

The dung beetle is truly an amazing animal that deserves our respect and admiration. It is not only the strongest animal in the world, but also one of the most useful and important for our planet.