Female dung beetle rolling a buffalo dung ball

Dung eater

Dung eaters feed on waste, either of other species or their own. Those that eat their own, such as rabbits and ringtail possums, do it because it's so hard to extract nourishment from their nutrient-poor diet that digesting it a second time is worthwhile. In contrast, pikas eat their own dung to keep their salt levels in balance. Some dung eaters, like the dung beetles, play an important ecosystem role in recycling waste and helping to disperse or germinate seeds in the dung.

Watch video clips from past programmes (9 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

View all 9 video clips

BBC News about Dung eater

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • African Wildlife African Wildlife

    Sir David Attenborough's Africa series took over four years to make and has brought us eye to eye with the continent's incredible wildlife in spectacular ways.

  • The wildlife of Life The wildlife of Life

    In autumn 2009, a major new series brought us life as we've never seen it before.