| 9/4/2008 9:59:28 AM

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"All that lives beneath Earth's fragile canopy is, in some elemental fashion, related. Is born, moves, feeds, reproduces, dies. Tiger and turtle dove; each tiny flower and homely frog; the running child, father to the man, and in ways as yet unknown, brother to the salamander. If mankind continues to allow whole species to perish, when does their peril also become ours?" ~ The World Wildlife Fund

I ran across that quote on a Web site my co-worker showed me at work.  I’ve read some interesting blogs about nature since joining the GRIT community a short time ago – beautifully descriptive stories about box turtles and liatris fields; gorgeous photos of swanscaterpillars, and waterfalls that take my breath away.  I’ve written of a few of my own experiences with nature; of flowers, and an evening walk with my daughters while surrounded by fields and forest.  And then there were those mouth-watering nature’s bounty blogs – blackberriessweet corn, and blueberries; what could be better than something sun-ripened and freshly plucked?  But nature is not always so pretty as blooming flowers, as sweet as box turtles in love, or cute and cuddly as baby goslings.  And fair warning:  if you’re eating something fresh from your garden, you may want to put it down to continue reading; I wouldn’t want anyone to lose their lunch.  But as icky as it might be, the following story is fascinating and has a lot of people excited. 

My co-worker is extremely excited about carrion beetles she discovered in her yard in the woods. Coming home from work one day, she spotted a dead mouse. With an armload of stuff, she went into the house first, thinking she'd come back to dispose of the carcass after she got settled in. She forgot about it until later that evening when she and her husband went outside to sit on the porch swing.

They found the carcass was already being taken care of by a couple of big black and red spotted beetles. Carrion beetles are flesh eaters – specifically dead flesh.  Scavengers, they play an important role in returning decaying materials back to the earth.  These two beetles, working together, had rolled the dead mouse over twelve feet from where she had spotted it earlier. Somewhat grossed out, but fascinated, her husband ran to get the camera.

Carrion Beetles?

Later she did an Internet search on carrion beetles, and found a site containing a description and photos of what she thought were her beetles.

9/12/2012 11:08:37 PM

We had there of these in Bennington Vermont They are really scarey and can they hurt you??

Cindy Murphy
10/20/2011 5:44:14 AM

Very cool, Danial, that you got to see so many at the same time, and examine one of them up close and personal. I'm not sure I could have done that; I'm not (very) squeamish about insects....except when they're on me. Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. Enjoy the day.

10/19/2011 3:28:12 PM

I live in the great Pacific Northwest and have came across these beetles several times. Both in Washington and Oregon. Most recently in my own back yard about three weeks ago. After trimming fat off chicken, I tossed the waste in my garbage, and forgot it was there. Three to four days later we had six to eight of these magnificent beetles landing on the outside of the garbage can, trying to find a way inside.I momentarily captured one for observation. There mandibles are very impressive, and the stink strong. I soon turned him loose, and cleaned out my garbage can.

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