Major factors that determine rate of decomposition is the physical environment, the quantity and quality of dead material
Answer each discussion question with 75-100
1) Major factors that determine rate of decomposition is the physical environment, the quantity and quality of dead material available for decomposers, and the nature of the microbes in the area. Aspects of the physical environment that contribute decomposition are the temperature, humidity, moister, and the soil properties. Thinks like low temperatures, low humidity, and low moister will slow the decomposition rate. If a body is left out decomposers like insects and animals with effect the decomposition rate due to them eating and breaking down the body leading to a faster rate of decay. If a body is buried in something like sand it will dry out the body and slow the decomposition rate but if the body is buried in rich soil it will speed up the decomposition rate due to the abundant and healthy microbial community. Temperature also affects the on set of rigor mortis. low temperatures slow down the on set of rigor mortis and high heats speeds it up.
2) There can be several factors that affect the rate of a body’s decomposition that “varies from organ to organ depending on the mechanism of death, the enzyme content of the respective organs, the position of the body, and environmental factors.” The body can undergo three different processes after death which are algor mortis, livor mortis, and rigor mortis. Algor mortis is “when the body undergoes a process in which it continually adjusts to equalize with the environmental temperature.” Livor mortis is a condition that starts when circulation though the body stops. “When the human heart stops pumping, the blood begins to settle in the parts of the body closest to the ground.” Rigor mortis happens instantly after death. “It’s a chemical change that occurs in the muscles that causes them to become rigid.” “This condition evolves over the first 24 hours under average temperature and body conditions.”
When it comes to aiding in determining the time of and cause of the death forensic anthropologist and entomologists both play important roles. A forensic anthropologists primary concern is to identify and examine the human skeletal remains. Due to their resistance to decomposition, skeletal remains can provide many characteristics long after the death of the victim. ” An examination of bones may reveal a victim’s sex, approximate age, race, height, and the nature of a physical injury.” An entomologist studies insects and their relation to the investigation is known as forensic entomology which is used to determine the time of death by studying the stages of development of the insects found on the body.
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