Using Perception to Determine Tendencies of Dung Beetles

Statement: Scientists used perception to suggest that dung beetles navigate by the Milky Way galaxy.

Elaboration: Marie Dacke of Lund University first noticed that dung beetles are able to navigate on nights when there are not many stars in the sky, and when there is no moon.  She also saw that they were unable to navigate when the sky was overcast.  It was seen that it is possible that the beetles actually use the Milky Way to navigate (which is likely, as it has been found that other animals, such as birds, navigate in the same manner).  It was not conceived that this was possible for insects to do, but Dacke used her perception to find that the beetles in fact could.

Examples: She put the beetles in a planetarium, and saw that the beetles were able to roll their dung balls in a straight line both a full starlit sky, and just the Milky Way.  Even on clear, moonless nights beetles are able to navigate in straight lines.  It was seen that the beetles lost their ability to roll the balls of dung when the night sky was overcast.

Illustration: This started out as an observation, and led to Dacke testing out what she saw.  This is comparable to any scientist who notes something in the real world and then designs an experiment with controls and uses perception to find what factors influence an action.

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