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Flesh-eating beetles strip bodies to the bone

3 minutes

A museum’s uneasy alliance between scientists and flesh-eating beetles

The ironic name of the ‘library of life’ at The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley in California won’t be lost on the team of scientists who work there, cataloguing and preserving animal specimens for generations to come. Apart from scientists, the only living things you’ll find in the library are dermestid beetles that, since 1924, have helped researchers strip thousands of animal carcasses to the bone.

Producer: Jason Black

Website: Deep Look

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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