Importance Sometimes Eclipses Amusement: Dung Beetles & the Milky Way

When people first encounter something surprising, it can seem laughable and thought-provoking. Later, if enough people come to decide the discovery is important, people then treat it with reverence and awe. The discovery has become too important, apparently, to describe with amusement. The public reaction has changed—but it’s the same discovery! Here is , perhaps, […]

Further adventures in dung-beetle-navigation research

Rachel Feltman chronicles, in the Washington Post, some further adventures of the Ig Nobel Prize-winning dung beetle navigation researchers: The humble dung beetle has a fantastic way of navigating the world If you’re a dung beetle, you spend a good portion of your life dancing around on top of a ball made of poop – a ball […]

Marcus Byrne tells of the dung beetles and the Milky Way

Marcus Byrne tells about the dung-beetles-and-the-Milky-Way research that led to an Ig Nobel Prize for him and his colleagues, in this University of the Witwatersrand video: That Ig Nobel Prize was awarded, in 2013, jointly in the fields of biology and astronomy, to Marie Dacke [SWEDEN, AUSTRALIA], Emily Baird [SWEDEN, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY], Marcus Byrne [SOUTH AFRICA, UK], […]

Dung beetle Milky Way Ig Nobel winners implicate the sun

The Scientist magazine reports: Dung beetles (Scarabaeus lamarcki) scurry around cow pastures collecting little balls of poop from steaming heaps of excrement and quickly roll those balls to their nests, where they bury them for a future meal. (See a video of this behavior.) According to new research published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, the beetles’ […]

Improbable Research