SCIENCE
10/09/2013 09:04 am ET

Monitor Lizard Decomposes In Gruesome Time-Lapse VIDEO

What happens to an animal's body after it dies?

Find out in the Earth Unplugged video above, an amazing time-lapse from Sam Hume and Simon Baxter that condenses the four-and-a-half-week decomposition of a savannah monitor lizard's carcass into one minute.

Savannah monitors are native to central Africa. They like to munch on rodents, smaller lizards, and insects -- but in the gruesome video the insects have their revenge.

Watch the five stages of decay -- as Hume and Baxter introduce fly eggs and then beetles to the lizard's body to simulate what would happen in the wild. Maggots hatch from the eggs and go for the dead meat in the first few stages, while the beetles and microbes strip the bones bare at the end.

"Great time lapse, it really showcases the unseen creatures at work balancing our environment," AZFIXMEDIA commented on the video.

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