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Halloween Special: Watch Flesh-Eating Beetles Strip Bodies to the Bone | Deep Look

Our first Halloween Special! Dermestid Beetles are fast and fastidious eaters. They can pick a carcass clean in just days leaving even the most delicate bone structures intact. This makes them the perfect tool for museum scientists-- if you keep them far, far away from valuable collections.


In nature, Dermestid Beetles are death-homing devices. They’ll find a dead body about a week after death and lay eggs in the drying flesh. The larvae emerge with a voracious appetite, outgrowing their skins six to eight times in just days before pupating, becoming adults and flying away to start a new colony.

These Dermestid Beetles at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley are direct descendants from the original colony established in this museum ...  Read more »