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Mushiking is awesome, extinction is not

Japanese kids love bugs, they love arcade games, and they love them some trading cards. Mushiking combines arcade beetle battles with collectible cards that are dispensed by the machine, and swiped to control the on-screen action.

Although this game is only the latest phenomenon to cash in on the beetle craze, it is being blamed for an increase in illegal importation of endangered bugs from Turkey. According to the Times Online article, "[a] million beetles a year are being imported into Japan, where they are sold for as much as 40,000 yen (£170) each on internet auction sites."

Conservation groups are concerned that the stag beetle Lucanus cervus akbesianus could be wiped out entirely. They're in a serious crisis. Let's get to breeding these beautiful creatures, so that our grandchildren can still run away screaming from giant bugs on their doorsteps.

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