Beware: this video may make your skin crawl, spine tingle and chill your bones: "Flesh Eating Beetles Work at the Museum"
The hungriest critters in the U-M Museum of Zoology have been featured on YouTube – again!
This latest video describing the UMMZ dermestid colony was created for YouTube by WorldByCharlie, the brainchild of EEB undergraduate, Charlie Engleman. Engelman produced the video, titled "Flesh Eating Beetles Work at the Museum," as part of his undergraduate honor's thesis. Engelman’s thesis is on the relationship between science education and different forms of media.
As part of his project, Engleman is producing several short videos on interesting topics about nature and the environment. This video highlights the use of dermestids in natural history collections to remove tissue from specimens being prepared as skeletons. The video includes interviews with Dr. Cody Thompson, UMMZ mammal collections manager and assistant research scientist, and UMMZ undergraduate research assistants, Dwight Seahorn and Chelsea Blumbergs. Engelman is advised by EEB faculty, Professor Robyn Burnham and Dr. Laura Olsen.
The dermestid colony was the subject of a previous YouTube video, titled "Anatomy of Preservation." This timelapse video showed the conversion of a Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) alcoholic specimen to a skeletal prep by former UMMZ undergraduate research assistant, Michael Schmidtke (2011). In addition, the video showed the dermestid colony meticulously removing the tissue from the specimen. This video was featured on the U-M Gateway and has received nearly 40,000 views.