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Flesh-Eating Beetles Will Apparently Clean a Deer Skull

YouTube: Greg Schoneck

How long does it take flesh-eating dermestid beetles to clean a deer skull? This time-lapse video shows you the answer.

Ever wondered about the different ways European-style deer mounts are made?

Most folks do it with a long slow boil, a pair of needle nose pliers, and a pressure washer. However, some taxidermists producing the popular skinless mounts start with dermestid beetles.

Dermestids eat away any flesh and other soft tissue left after the taxidermist removes the skin, eyes, brains, and any excess flesh.

This video from Dakota Skulls shows one of their beetle colonies making short work of a customer's deer head.

After the bugs are done, a quick wash, followed by some careful application of a bleaching agent to even out the color, and the skull is ready to finish and mount.

If you're interested in keeping a colony of dermestids to clean skulls and bones, you can order them online.

There are other DIY skull cleaning methods involving boiling, burying, or pressure washing skulls.

But, you have to admit, those beetles are pretty efficient. They sure earn their keep.



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Flesh-Eating Beetles Will Apparently Clean a Deer Skull