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Country diary: the sacred giants of the dung-beetle world

21.09.2020
Příroda
Big Moor, Derbyshire: This specimen glittered purplish-blue in the setting sun - no wonder the ancient Egyptians thought them divineThe year seemed finely balanced as we ambled down to the pond at Little Barbrook in the evening sunshine. Bracken was crisping to bronze and the birch leaves were turning, yet it had been the warmest day in weeks and heat was still radiating off the dusty track. So slipping into the chocolate-coloured water to cool off was a pleasure, knowing all the while that this might be the last swim of summer, a valediction of sorts and a reminder that the seasons still roll along, even in these strange and stressful times.Back on shore and half-dry, we had just started for home when I noticed something shimmering in the dirt. I scooped it up and marvelled: a dor beetle, counted among the dung beetles, its elytra, or wing cases, divided and the wings outspread, as though it had met its end in flight, perhaps taking off too late from the warm earth to escape a bicycle wheel. When I tilted my palm, its black body glittered purplish blue in the long rays of the setting sun, as though I'd discovered a jewel. No wonder the Egyptians thought scarabs divine. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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