WBEZ | beetles http://www.wbez.org/tags/beetles Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Clever Apes #10: Yuck http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-04-13/clever-apes-10-yuck-85105 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-12/P1070472.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bill Stanley holds the skull of an African rat he discovered, being cleaned by c" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-12/Beetle small.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" title="Bill Stanley holds the skull of an African rat he discovered. It's being cleaned by carrion beetles. "></p><p>Let’s consider the beauty of a seething swarm of carrion beetles picking clean the carcass of a dead rat.</p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;">Sorry – were you eating breakfast?</p><div>To a scientist, that grisly scene might evoke the cycles of ecosystems, the connectedness of life and death, and the elegant efficiency of a life form sculpted by eons of evolution to be the <a href="http://www.hunthd.com/taxidermy-supplies/dermestid-beetles/250-dermestid-beetles/prod_391.html">perfect flesh-removal machine</a>. To most of the rest of us, it’s just gross.</div><p>Yucky stuff has always been part of the mystique of science – alluring for some, forbidding for others. In the latest installment of Clever Apes, we consider the dirty work of science, from the <a href="http://www.museumsecrets.tv/dossier.php?o=77">“bug room”</a> at the <a href="http://www.fieldmuseum.org/">Field Museum</a> to <a href="http://www.microtracescientific.com/">the lab</a> where scientists analyze dead critters found in food.</p><p>But we aim not to titillate. Oh no. In this part one of our two-part series, we hope to show how the yucky can also be elegant. So hold your nose and listen.&nbsp;</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483438-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Clever_Apes_10_Yuck.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Subscribe to the Clever Apes&nbsp;<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CleverApesPodcast" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank" title="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CleverApesPodcast">podcast</a>, follow us on&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/cleverapes" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank" title="http://twitter.com/#!/cleverapes">Twitter</a>, or find us on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank" title="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412">Facebook</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chris Palenik mans the transmission electron microscope at Microtrace. " class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-13/P1010288.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" title="Chris Palenik mans the transmission electron microscope at Microtrace. "></p></p> Wed, 13 Apr 2011 15:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-04-13/clever-apes-10-yuck-85105