Scientists, entomologists have found that the scarab beetles guided by milky way during its movement in a straight line. These are the first insects that have the ability to identify the orientation of the starry sky.
More detailed results of the survey conducted by Swedish researchers from Lund University together with colleagues from South Africa, published in the journal Current Biology.
As you know, the scarab beetles molded balls of dung, and then roll them on a certain safe distance from the manure pile to eat alone. However, they must move in a straight line, so as not to get lost and not return again to the pile of manure, where they can meet with their relatives, which take their food.
Previous studies have shown that night beetles are guided by the moon, and the day - Sun. One thing remained for scientists unclear, as the scarabs are oriented in the moonless night. To understand this, scientists put on the heads of beetles likeness cardboard caps. With caps on their heads, beetles ceased to see the starry sky, and began to move with a strong deviation from the course. This has allowed to establish that the benchmark for scarabs are the stars.
To confirm his version, scientists put dung beetles in the planetarium of the capital of the Republic of South Africa Johannesburg. The scientists included in the queue for various beetles of the map of the starry sky. Beetles responded only to the constellation of the milky way. No other stars, even the brightest, not helped them in their orientation.
Scientists noticed that before beginning their journey, they climb on their ball and start spinning in different directions to catch the right light source. Experts say that the stars are guided also grasshoppers and moths.