Burying Beetles

Perennial finalists for parents of the year, burying beetles go above and beyond for their offspring through a unique series of behaviors. After finding just the right recently deceased mammal, often a mouse of appropriate size and species, the beetles commence in preparing the perfect meal and birth site for their upcoming offspring.  Preparation involves an intricate dance of placement, hair removal, formation, and ultimately burying of the dead mouse, all a welcome sight to their little larval ones. This parental behavior is just a part of what makes these unique beetles so special and why researchers like Dr. Rosemary Smith have spent years studying their ecology and behavior at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, CO.  Check out the links and videos below to learn more about this research and amazing beetle species, access some real data, and explore lesson plans based on Dr. Smith's research!

*This module was created by Dr. Kelsey Robson at Idaho State University. Please contact at  Dr. Robson at with any questions or feedback you may have regarding this module!