The effects of surface variation on the decomposition of pig carcasses

Cogswell, Gregory Charles and Cross, Peter Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1812-5664 (2021) The effects of surface variation on the decomposition of pig carcasses. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 79 (102108). ISSN 1752-928X

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Studies investigating the differential decomposition of remains on different surfaces have been limited to qualitative data. This study statistically analyses the differences in rate and pattern of decomposition between concrete, gravel and grass surfaces. A total of 11 pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) were used in the study: three for the concrete and gravel surfaces each, and 5 for the grass surface. Results showed that there was no difference in the overall rate of decomposition between surfaces (p > 0.05); however, there were significant differences in the pattern of decomposition. Mummification was observed on all subjects in the study and may have been the reason for the similarities in the decomposition rates between surfaces. The results of this study show that in the intertwined relationship between factors affecting decomposition surface type may be overshadowed by other environmental factors.

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