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Energy from Death-Front View (Clip)
Date: March 14, 2010
Running Time: 00:05:17

Watch the process of a deceased monitor lizard providing energy for other organisms to live in this time-lapse video. Look for this exhibit in the museum, upstairs in the Traits of Life area. Animals are a source of energy-rich food even after they die. Here we can see beetles, flies, bacteria, and other organisms feasting on carcasses. They get their energy from rotting flesh, just as we get energy from the food we eat. Scavengers break down the tissues of dead animals, releasing nutrients that would otherwise remain trapped inside. This action recycles proteins and minerals from the dead animal's body, enriching the soil for plants to grow, and providing food for other creatures to consume.
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