Dance of the Dung Beetles
Their Role in Our Changing World
by Marcus Byrne and Helen Lunn
2019, 256 pages, 30 black and white illustrations. In this sweeping history of more than 3,000 years, beginning with Ancient Egypt, scientist Marcus Byrne and writer Helen Lunn capture the diversity of dung beetles and their unique behavior patterns. Dung beetles’ fortunes have followed the shifts from a world dominated by a religion that symbolically incorporated them into some of its key concepts of rebirth, to a world in which science has largely separated itself from religion and alchemy. With over 6,000 species found throughout the world, these unassuming but remarkable creatures are fundamental to some of humanity’s most cherished beliefs and have been ever present in religion, art, literature, science, and the environment. They are at the center of current gene research, and play an important role in keeping our planet healthy. Some nocturnal dung beetles have been found to navigate by the starry skies. Outlining the development of science from the point of view of the humble dung beetle is what makes this charming story of immense interest to entomologists and general readers alike.
Paperback; 6 x 9″.
About the Authors:
Marcus Byrne is Professor in the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has studied dung beetles for more than 30 years. He is a TED presenter, a recipient of an IgNobel prize and has received numerous awards for his work on popularizing the biological sciences.
Helen Lunn has a PhD in Musicology and has a wide research base. She has edited three compilations of DRUM magazine, and more recently worked for Oprah as South African coordinator and producer on a variety of educational projects.
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