TCD MS 10515 folio 93 verso
pellet. It makes preparations to excavate a burrow. First it drives its shovel head into the soft sand and kicks the granules backward with its hind legs. A shallow pit is soon constructed. Then it reverses its mode of labout. Instead of kicking out the earth behind, it turns about and shovels it forward out of the mouth of the pit with its broad, flat head. In these efforts it exerts immense strength, for the larges stone I could find in the desert weighing* was shoved forward by it without the slightest difficulty. Excavation proceeds rapidly. The beetle rolls the pellet to the mouth of the inclined tunnel so that as it digs the pellet by its own weight dips further in. And as it continues shovelling out the earth the pellet disappears into
* Spec. No. 13.