Geographical Range United States and southern Canada, east of the Rocky Mountains
Habitat Various habitats, including woodlands and grasslands
Scientific Name Necrophila americana
Conservation Status Not listed by IUCN

Rotting vegetation and dead animals may not sound good to you, but this insect finds it all pretty tasty. Nature's leftovers are its bread and butter! This distinctive beetle is found on a variety of dead animals including mammals, fishes, snakes and frogs. Breaking down all of this garbage into useful soil nutrients is a dirty job, but carrion beetles are good at it. Their life cycle is so well known that forensic investigators use them to investigate the time of death of human remains.