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Meet the Gravedigger of the Animal Kingdom

Named for its method of burying rotting carcasses to feed its young, the American burying beetle is the gravedigger of the animal kingdom. With powerful wings and chemical receptors in its antennae, finding food is this beetle’s forte. But while once a prolific part of the American landscape, the burying beetle population has dwindled in recent years. Today, they can only be found in six states. While conservation efforts are underway, there is still a long way to go to save these insects from their endangered status.


This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants.

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