The Foundry | Desperate Leftists hope a bug can stop the Keystone XL

The green community is readying to add to these Endangered Species Act injustices, fashioning a new weapon—the American burying beetle. As one liberal blogger puts it, the beetles “have earned the attention both of TransCanada and of environmental groups dedicated to protecting endangered species and interested as well in stopping the [Keystone XL] pipeline’s construction.” [emphasis added].

The beetle’s scientific name is Nicrophorus americanus, and in various government reports it is known as the ABB. As its scientific name hints (nekros: Greek for dead, dying person, corpse), the ABB is one of many species of carrion beetle which in turn are just a few of the thousands of kinds of North American beetles. American burying beetles depend upon carrion—rotting flesh, burying it, and laying eggs nearby. When ABB larvae hatch, a snack awaits them in the form of regurgitated flesh. While of interest to beetle enthusiasts, carrion beetle behavior (Warning: Not charismatic!) isn’t the stuff of fundraising appeals.


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