lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

D is for Dung Beetle!

Aphodius zenkeri blog

If it wasn’t for dung beetles recycling dung of every description, breaking it down and burying it in the soil, making it available for earthworms and other creatures to break down further, we would be armpit deep in poop, and our land would not be aerated or fertile.

When animals such as cattle were imported to Australia, there were no dung beetles there capable of living on their dung – cattle pats are quite wet and Aussie dung beetles were used to drier offerings.

As the cattle grazed and their dung was not recycled back into the soil, their dung built up, flies proliferated and the soil became poorer and drier.

The solution was to import dung beetles from Europe that had evolved to live in cow poo.

Amazing I hear you gasp.

Well, maybe I can make you a little more interested in dung beetles. Did you know that dung beetles have a pop as well as a poop scene? Posted below you will find one of their most famous hits, originally made famous by the Crystals.


The Dung Beetle Song


I met him on some deer dung and my heart went dong,

da do dung, dung, dung, da do dung, dung.

Shiny, dimpled, groovy and his name was Ron,

da do dung, dung, dung da do dung, dung.


Yeah! A deer dung dong!

Yes, his name was Ron,

AND when he dug deer dung,

dad do dung, dung, dung, da do dung, dung.


He was rolling balls of deer-do when he caught my eye,

dad do dung, dung, dung da do dung, dung.

Muscle deep in poo dear, oh my, oh my,

da do dung, dung, dung, da do dung, dung.


Yeah! He caught my eye!

Yes, oh my, oh my!

AND when he dug deer dung,

da do dung, dung, dung, da do dung, dung.


Now digging deep in deer-do, to raise our young,

da do dung, dung, dung da do dung, dung,

babes all eat deer-do-dos, deers get doing some,

da do dung, dung, dung da do dung, dung.


Yeah! To raise our young,

Yes, we need that dung,

do get do-do-doing some,

da do dung, dung dung da do dung dung.


Liz Brownlee

There are specialised dung beetles all over the world that are endangered.

All material ©Liz Brownlee

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  1. I love the way that dung beetles tell their way by the Milky Way. Another of the wonders of this planet!


  2. I never thought a dung beetle would make me smile but your poem certainly did, Liz. We lose species at our peril for all have their part to play in the overall good.


  3. Liz

    So that’s why Australia is swarming with flies! As always, Liz, you open my eyes to natural wonders.


    • I think they have a lot of flies anyway, Liz, but yes, it was a real problem for them!


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