Beetles invented agriculture and may have inspired Man to invent the wheel

From Mueller and Gerardo

About 40–60 million years before the advent of human agriculture, three insect lineages, termites, ants, and beetles, independently evolved the ability to grow fungi for food. Like humans, the insect farmers became dependent on cultivated crops for food and developed task-partitioned societies cooperating in gigantic agricultural enterprises. Agricultural life ultimately enabled all of these insect farmers to rise to major ecological importance.

And from Gerhard Scholtz

I suggest that an increased opportunity to observe pill rolling scarab beetles has inspired humans to invent the wheel…..

Dung beetles are attracted by the odour of fresh dung produced mainly by ungulates. They cut out pieces of dung and form a near-perfect bowl with a smooth surface by using their appendages and head structures. They then roll this bowl around to store it in excavated burrows as food for themselves or their offspring. By rolling the ball, they cover distances up to several meters while passing little elevations and valleys on their way….

I suggest that the invention of the wheel in human culture was merely a reinvention, copied from nature and from dung beetles in particular.

Both facts derived from Andrew Nikiforuk’s excellent book ‘Empire of the Beetle’.

Geoffrey West on Why Cities Survive and Companies Die

Geoffrey West on Why Cities Survive and Companies Die

My take: Organisations and Living Beings are the unit of selection whereas cities, economies and ecosystems are emergent entities comprising of these units. In a complex adaptive system that needs to innovate just to maintain the status quo, the unit of selection  is usually fragile as it competes with all other units. In fact, if the micro-unit is more resilient, then it leads to fragility at the macro-level. In other words, micro-resilience is incompatible with macro-resilience in many complex adaptive systems as I explain here.