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It took me many hours of thinking back to my past to figure out who or what I was going to make a tribute speech over. Then I thought back to my childhood to what I enjoyed doing the most. I remember the great times | had with my mother, and how she would always get me the package of candy would ask for when we went shopping. My mother would make a good tribute speech I thought to myself, but then I thought of the few times I was out in my grandfather’s pasture, and how I would see a little bug rolling dung.
The Dung beetle, what a marvelous creature. Now, you may be wondering why have chosen this topic for a tribute speech, or maybe why I would even consider talking about it at all, but do you realize what an important role these beetles play all around the world. I remember several days when I was young that I would just go for a walk in my grandfather’s pasture.
I would enjoy the quiet walks, and sometimes try to scare the cows, but more often than not, I would end up stopping to watch dung beetles frantically work on a big cow pat.
I remember how disgusting it appeared, but I was just fascinated at the concept of cow poop being rolled into balls and taken away by bugs. To realize why dung beetles are so important, you must first know a few facts about them.
Dung beetles are named after their delight in rolling up dung. Dung beetles utilize the dung of cows, horses, rabbits, deer, sheep, and many other animals. How many of you think dung beetles actually eat manure? The answer is yes. Dung beetles just love fresh dung. They shove the dung into their mouths, squeeze it, and drink the juices that come streaming out! The solid parts of the dung are squeezed for a second time in their jaws, and then swallowed. If there are any eggs that flies might have laid inside the dung, this squeezing action kills them. Now, before you say “Gross!” think about this: There are millions of animals on this planet, and they all produce waste. People take care of the problem through complicated sanitation systems. But in nature, the waste from all the animals has to decompose. Dung beetles help speed up the process. There are more than 20,000 different kinds of dung beetles. They may feed on plants, dead animals and manure. Dung, along with everything else that lives in it, is the major food of the dung beetle.
In fact African dung beetles head for hot steaming cow pats even before they hit the ground. They are attracted by the gas coming out of the back end of the cow. Within minutes or even seconds, the beetles are already burrowing into the warm dung. Within hours, or at the very most, a few days, the cow pat has vanished. All that is left is freshly turned-over soil. Scientists have counted more than 7,000 dung beetles in a single mass of fresh elephant dung. The importance of dung beetles cannot be overestimated. Every cow produces 7 tons of dung a year (imagine the amount of space this would take up if it was left to build up and fester!) and yet this dung is rapidly removed by dung beetles and the grassy fields are soon left free of dung. I hope that you have leaned why the dung beetle should be respected, and given tribute more often. Not only do dung beetles play a vital role in breaking down dung and incorporating it into the soil, but they also provide a great form of childhood entertainment. (To add to the effect, pass out some Butterfinger BB’s or some malt balls before you gie the speech.)
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