Re: Did Dung Beetles Kill The Mushroom?

Dan Clemmensen (
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 21:31:05 -0400

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> On Wed, 23 Jul 1997, Guru George wrote:
> > >Thats interesting, the only thing that can be said is maybe dung beetles
> > >werent around 100,000 years ago. The theory is that mushrooms grew in
> > >shorter and shorter supply until there was none left, maybe this is due to
> > >the dung beetle.
> > >
> > Hey now *there's* a thought! Does anyone here know enough biology/ecology
> > to comment?
> I certainly don't know enough, but I think the beetles were around
> long before that. I base this on the fact that there exist related
> scarabeoid beetles in quite remote climates (e.g. here in Sweden we
> have the tordyvel [don't know its latin name]) and continents (all of
> them except antarctica) which suggest that the family has been around
> for several millions of years. I just found a reference

There was an interesting article in Scientific American some time during
the last 15 years. As I recall, there were no dung beetles in Australia.
When the settlers introduced cattle the dung piles began to kill the
I forgot the outcome, but I think the settlers ended up importing them.