Margined Carrion Beetle

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In nature, not everything is as pleasing to the eye as a butterfly, nor does everything smell as sweet as wildflowers. There are aspects of natural history, although unpleasant to our human senses, that are critically important in the balance of nature.

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The Margined Carrion Beetle is an interesting and helpful insect. It gets its name from the fact that it eats and lays its eggs in carrion (dead animals).

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Using its sense of smell, the insect can find a dead animal within hours of death at a distance of up to a mile and a half. It will then mate and lay its eggs on the carrion. Here’s what the larva look like after hatching from an egg, but before becoming an adult beetle.

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Carrion beetles and other decomposers are important because they get rid of dead matter by eating it and breaking it down into smaller pieces that can be placed back into the ecosystem and used by other organisms.

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They are also frequently associated with crime scene investigations, because they are used to substantiate and support timelines and help estimate the time of death of victims.

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