The beetles have sensitive antennae that contain olfactory organs, thus the beetle can locate dead animals (carcass), and then as the name suggests, bury them. N. tomentosus is about 11.2 to 19.0 millimeters in length. It also has a pair of striations on its fifth abdominal tergum. They also have a very large scutellum which can sometimes be as wide as its head. The segments of its antennae are all black, clubbed at the ends. Its elytral epipleuron is completely black except for symmetrical orange splotches. The pronotum is also covered with a thick patch of golden yellow setae which sets it apart from other nicrophorus in its genus.
Found in areas where there are small carcasses such as dead rodents and birds, including forests, woodlands, shrub land, and sandy prairies. May through October, primarily in the months of July and August.