Determining Time of Death - Forensic Entomology

  • Created by: Sdarby
  • Created on: 01-11-16 17:43
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  • Forensic Entomology
    • Forensic Entomology
      • Presence of insects allows an estimate to be made on the time elapsed since death and if the body has been moved
        • May be a species found that is not in its natural habitat  (location)
      • Record information about the location and condition of the body
      • Take samples of insects found on, near or around the body noting where and when they were found
        • Some maggots and insects are killed at time of collection and some taken alive
        • Live maggots are fed on meat to allow a complete development
      • Temperature of the air, ground, body and maggot mass are measured to help determine maggot development stage
    • Estimating Time Since Death
      • Determine age of maggots and estimate time when eggs were laid
    • Succession On Corpses
      • As one group of organisms feed ? conditions of the decomposing body changes and becomes attractive to other organisms ? repeats until only skeleton remains
      • Use predictable sequences of organisms that feed on decomposing bodies to determine the time of death
      • Season, weather conditions, size and location of body all have an effect on the estimation
    • Other Organisms
      • Bacteria from the gut quickly invade the tissues after death
      • Other bacteria and fungi from the surroundings colonise the corpse ? contributes to decay and the changing conditions of the body
      • Corpse is a great source of energy
        • Organic carbohydrates proteins, fats and nucleic acids
        • Enables bacteria and fungi to grown and multiply rapidly ? speeds up decay process
      • Release carbon dioxide into atmosphere - can be used by plants for photosynthes


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