It’s the crappiest job in the park, but somebuggy’s got to do it.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park this week celebrated the efforts of one of its smaller residents: a dung beetle that specializes in moving balls of poop around the park.
Visitors to the park may have noticed what appeared to be scurrying scat, moving almost by itself. But a closer inspection ― if you dare ― would reveal the work of the tumblebug, (Canthon sp.) protecting its future generations by burying them where no one will look.
“The female tumblebug will lay only one egg inside each ball of dung, allowing the developing larvae to have all the resources they need without having to compete with their siblings,” the park said on Facebook.
Then, just to make sure those baby buggies are safe, those balls of poop get rolled off.
“The male will help bury the balls of dung in the ground for safekeeping,” the park said.
While it might look a little weird, the bugs do help hikers “by keeping the trails clean and aiding in decomposition,” the park said.
This video shows the bugs in action: