Hunting creates hundreds of jobs in every corner of the Cowboy State, including one occupation that sounds really gross: flesh-eating beetles for hire.

There are several beetle maniacs around Wyoming who offer the cleaning service for hunters. One colony of carnivorous creatures can devour a prized trophy in three days. After the dermestid beetles clean the carcass, it's then degreased, whitened, and either polished, painted or used for taxidermy.

Skinner's Skull Shop in the tiny town of Bedford, Wyo. has been using the method since 2004. They claim beetles are a better way to clean skulls than boiling them because the beetles don't damage fragile bones. Boiling can also cause bone separation or shrinkage.

Along with commercial use, flesh-eating beetles are a popular tool for wildlife officials and law enforcement. The dermestids are so effective in preserving evidence, they are often called "nature's forensic scientists".





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