Scarlet macaw Ara macao

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Our beetles don't eat feathers, so specimens are usually skinned before they reach the colonies. In this example we left the feathers intact to show how this large parrot’s amazing skull sits underneath its skin.

Since December 2011, the Natural History Museum and Site-Eye Time-Lapse Films Ltd have been filming inside one of the beetle colonies used for bird skeleton preparation.

Warning: the films are graphic, showing specimens and their decomposition.