Keynote speaker 2015
MArie Dacke, Keynote speaker 2015
Upon locating a suitable dung pile, a ball-rolling dung beetle cuts off a piece of dung, shapes it into a ball and rolls it away to a distant location for burial and consumption. While rolling, the beetles move away from the dung pile in a straight line; a remarkable feat given that they do this facing backwards with their head pointing towards the ground. It is impossible for any animal (or machine) to move along a straight path without using an external reference, or compass. The dung beetles thus make use of a whole range of compasses, some unique for these animals, to move in a line a straight as the terrain allows. In this talk we will join the beetles on a journey from shit to stars.