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Watch This Video: Flesh-Eating Beetles Strip a Body to the Bone

the beetles

Image credit: Deep Look/YouTube

Although we would take long time to deliberately ignore thoughts of our death as well as transient fleshy existence, the science of death is closely linked with the science of life, and in some sense it should be quite interesting!

This Halloween special from Deep Look will allow us to observe the way the flesh-eating beetles behave, how decomposition happen and the art with which dead animals  are well preserved.

The video shows about the “Library of Life” in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley. In an effort to classify, know better and preserve the vertebrate inhabitants in the world, the museum has a good collection of taxidermied animals and skeletons. During the processing procedure, firstly scientists skin the deceased animals and then they use flesh-eating dermestid beetles to boost the decomposition process. Such beetles are quite famous for their capability of stripping a carcass in a few days, however, they also like to munch down on books, carpets and floorboards.

Like a weird and somewhat terrified family business, the beetles used in the process now are descendants from the original colony used by the museum in 1924.