Lilliputian Beetle

The stunning results of a survey of one of the world's least-touched places.

Photo By: Trond Larsen / Conservation International

The tiny "lilliputian beetle" (Canthidium cf. minimum) is among the smallest dung beetles ever found in South America. Its antler-like antennae provide an acute sense of smell. Dung beetles play critical ecological roles that help support healthy ecosystems. By burying dung, they regulate parasites and disease, disperse seeds, and recycle nutrients to promote plant growth.

It was one 1,378 species identified--as many as 60 of them new species--in the rainforest-clad mountains of Southeastern Suriname, South America, during a first-ever survey by international biologists of an area Conservation International described as "a wilderness area virtually without any human influence and among the most remote and unexplored tracts of rainforest left on Earth."

> Related: Recently Extinct Animals (Photos)


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