postmortem animal attacks on human corpses

Goff and Win [73] estimated postmortem interval of a corpse based on minimum colony forming period of Anoplolepis Longipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) species of ants as 12 months. [29] are in concordance with disarticulation sequence defined by Haglund, while in the third case, where the culprit was a German shepherd dog, face, neck, intrathoracic organs, upper right extremity, scapula, and multiple number of cervical and thoracic vertebrae of the victim had been reportedly devoured. In a case presentation, a man died due to a coronary problem was wounded by his hunting dog only a few hours after his death, which according to authors’ opinions could not be explained by hunger of the dog or deficient food [28]. “V” shaped and rhomboid lesions occurred by the attacks of domestic dogs cause puncture-type wounds [9, 12], and domestic cat bites create small, round wounds with smooth edges [10]. Parallel cutaneous lesions and fine serrated wound contours on corpses caused by upper and lower incisor teeth of the rodents during postmortem feeding are observed [9, 10, 13, 48, 74] (Figures 3 and 4). It is formed by dragging or rotatory movement of the tooth on the bone after formation of a pit [5, 21, 34, 38]. Witnesses said that they had seen the victim had drunk a lot and had become unconscious when she was alive, and her red setter dog had bitten her legs and licked her face to arouse her. *Address all correspondence to:, Post Mortem Examination and Autopsy - Current Issues From Death to Laboratory Analysis. 57: Defining Dental Age for Chronological Age Determination . Onset of lividity, its location and color, provide information on the time and cause of death. 10. If the bone is also gnawed, then parallel scratches or furrows may be formed at the edges of the bone [13, 25, 37]. His corpse had been found within hours after he had been drowned with manifestation of diffuse loss of cranial soft tissue. In addition, some studies with 37 days of follow-up period have been also cited [39]. The victim had postmortem scavenging wounds on his face and neck formed by his dog after he had committed suicide with a firearm. Basically, bite marks caused by predatory animals include pits, punctures, scores, and furrows [33]. The authors reported the presence of circular and “C”-shaped wounds on her corpse caused by a bite of a shark belonging to the Isistius species [92]. Fatal bear attacks in North America have occurred in a variety of settings. [12] presented three cases that had been attacked by pet dogs during postmortem period, and they reported that dog foods were accessible in all these three events. Outdoor corpses may be devoured by many animals because they are defenseless. By Zerrin Erkol and Erdem Hösükler. If the animal is locked for a long time, as a “displacement” behavior, its postmortem scavenging activity starts from the face of the victim and proceeds toward the lower part of the body, and finally, the abdomen is devoured [30]. When the outdoor corpses are left out for a sufficient period of time, then scavengers may devour the corpse leaving only bones [33, 39, 40]. At first, it was suspected that this was a murder, and that the damage from wild animals happened post mortem, but on September 2 another similar attack happened in the village of Agwanpur. Despite the leopard's (Panthera pardus) extensive range from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, attacks are regularly reported only in India and Nepal. Every corpse has a story: How forensic experts find clues in the dead While a corpse can’t talk, a dead body does leave behind many clues. [78] demonstrated unusual patched areas of epidermal lesions on naked unclothed parts of a dead woman caused by scavenging activity of songbird characterized by “pecking and dragging.” In another case, loss of eye globe and earlobe due to crow feeding was reported [79]. presented two carbonized corpses. Serpiginous, parchmentized, and irregular-shaped superficial skin lesions were associated with postmortem ant activity on the left leg (Archive of Council of Forensic Medicine, Turkey). [84] suggested that when bite mark measurements of lower and upper jaws of animals are evaluated in combination, then discrimination between members of Canidae and Felidae is possible. Ants, which are among one of the dominant insect groups, belong to Formicidae family of Hymenoptera spp. However, when its attempts failed, the authors claimed that the dog had become more aggressive and had bitten its owner so as to arouse him, and they defined this as displacement behavior. 50 Insanely Gruesome Photos Of The Human Body From Actual. Variations in beak morphologies of birds may cause different lesions. Postmortem animal activity is an important step in incorporating protein, fat, and carbohydrates in corpses to the food chain. Unusual characteristic patterns of postmortem injuries. Furrows are deeply formed channel-like grooves that extend longitudinally along the long bones as femur and formed by molar and premolar teeth of the animals that repeat jaw movements with the intention to reach the bone marrow [21, 25, 33, 34]. The frequency of leopard attacks on humans varies by geographical region and historical period. On various parts of the corpses, cuts, erythematous lesions, and soft tissue loss that did not demonstrate vital reactions without any bone defects had been found. Widespread soft tissue and muscle loss on face, neck, and upper extremities that exposed the underlying bone tissue were observed. The following day, a pack of wild canines were spotted eating body parts of the Bhutanese woman. By making research easy to access, and puts the academic needs of the researchers before the business interests of publishers. Postmortem Artifacts Made by Ants and the Effect of Ant Activity on Decompositional Rates. If in corpses taken out from deep waters, bones are not damaged markedly, and any bite mark is not detected on the surfaces of the bones, then the feeding of small sea creatures as amphipods, which easily move in tunnel-shaped clothes as pants, without displacing bones, and damage bone cortex, is conceived [16]. Amputated left limb, extensive soft tissue, and muscle loss that exposed bone tissue of lower limbs and hip caused by postmortem Canidae scavenging activity. Crossref Asamura et al. According to authorities, Pema Choden, 53, was hit by a speeding truck in Begusarai. They indicated that still it was not a specific finding and yielded positive results in association with passive extravasation of these molecules from damaged blood vessels in postmortem wounds. It’s based on principles of collaboration, unobstructed discovery, and, most importantly, scientific progression. Since intra-abdominal organs are tried to be accessed through anus, lumbar vertebras are frequently spared [5]. They are rarely described in the literature; however, even though they present specific patterns. presented a case of a 50-year-old drowned female who had demonstrated circular, elliptic postmortem soyabean-sized (3.7 × 5.1 cm) wounds with relatively sharp edges on the anterior aspect of her neck [91]. Witnesses told police 22-year-old dude climbed over the fence and jumped into the animal's enclosure. Haglund et al. Furthermore, Foust [34] claimed that when dimensions of bite marks and measurements of upper and lower jaws of the animals are evaluated in combination, then the species of scavenging carnivorans will be predicted accurately at a rate ranging between 75.5 and 78.3%. 2). 105: Most Common MedicoLegal AutopsyRelated Human . The second case was of a 50-year-old male. It has been determined that ravens prefer to feed on corpses at sunrise and sunset during summer months, while during cold winter months, they prefer to feed during hot daytime hours [77]. However, the uppermost skin tissue remains intact excepting holes created [17]. Predators as rodents also devour tissues of the dead body most dramatically as insects [13, 48]. In modern times, bereaved families must choose between cremation and embalmment for their dearly departed. Crocodiles and alligators attack living beings with fatal outcomes and also assault corpses as well. The human body may be attacked by a variety of animals. This animal has sharp claws; however, its claws and jaws are not strong enough to harm the bone. Through 41 cases, 10 at the forensic institute in Lille (France) and 31 at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (USA), plus 22 cases from the … Recent casework in Belgium involving the search for human remains buried with lime, demonstrated the need for more detailed understanding of the effect of different types of lime on cadaver decomposition and its micro-environment. However, some disarticulation patterns do not fit into these categories (18). [41] investigated destructive changes induced by jackals and pet dogs on partially or completely skeletonized remains of human corpses created within a period ranging between 4 hours and 52 months so as to search for scavenging activity. HeadquartersIntechOpen Limited5 Princes Gate Court,London, SW7 2QJ,UNITED KINGDOM. accidental or criminal) from postmortem trauma (e.g. In order to identify the animal that attacked the corpse, the location of the corpse, geographic conditions, season, animal species found in the area, types of animal feeding, and behaviors should be known [3]. Forensic Taphonomy The Postmortem Fate of Human Remains. Scavenger birds as magpies and crows peck and tear the corpse during feeding, which causes characteristic triangle-shaped holes on the corpse [76]. He and Zhu [61] investigated 13 antemortem and 7 postmortem skin lesions of 7 forensic cases and determined that leukotriene B4 (LTB4) was found in all antemortem wound samples, while it was not detected in any one of the postmortem wound samples. The extent of the lesions caused by the animals varies according to the sizes of their dentition and jaws, but they share some common characteristics. When her corpse was discovered, only a calvarium and bone fragments of various lengths belonging to 60 different long bones had been detected. Consequences of postmortem animal attacks at the corpse on land differ depending on whether the corpse is in outdoor or indoor environment. [40] indicated the presence of significant differences in scavenging models of bears and canid family and argued that discrimination between bears and dogs based on the presence or absence of remains of human skeletons found in and around the incident site is possible. Charla Nash. Frequently, it is seen in thin and flat bones as scapula, and it is caused by canine and carnassial teeth [21, 34, 37]. [47] presented a 27-year-old epileptic woman found dead at her home. On a warm, clear day, it can take mere minutes for flies to whiff the slightest decay — like a flashing neon sign announcing a good place to dine and procreate. Bears usually devour axial skeleton and tend to consume, extract, or damage vertebras, ribs, and sternum, while members of the canid family frequently damage extremities and through opened body holes devour internal organs incurring little injury on vertebral column. This time interval was not considered to be long enough for the dog to become hungry. Postmortem animal activity is an important step in incorporating protein, fat, and carbohydrates in corpses to the food chain. However, absence of defense wound on the deceased does not always signify wounds created during postmortem period. Top 10 Animal Attacks on Humans After a killer whale caused the death of a SeaWorld trainer during a live show, a look back at other recent incidents involving animals that unexpectedly attacked The Killer-Whale Attack: How It Happened Ants feed on adult flies and insects and their larvae, flesh, and exudates of the corpse, and they may decrease the decomposition rate significantly [24]. Sea stars live on the seafloor and cannot swim actively. Although rare, enzymes secreted from salivary glands of fly larvae may puncture bone lamellae (i.e., orbital ceiling) [63]. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Numerous histological, histochemical, and immunohistochemical methods can be used to determine whether animal attack occurred during antemortem or postmortem period. [44] investigated scavenging behavior of bobcats (Lynx Rufus). [16] presented case reports of two corpses belonging to one pilot who had a jet plane accident offshore of Namibia and another pilot whose helicopter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. However, it has been asserted that removal of eyelashes is the characteristic activity of ants [17]. It has been claimed that the average length (<2.5 mm) and width (<1.5 mm) of the pit created by red fox could discriminate the red fox from larger-sized members of the Canidae family [33]. Behavior pattern of birds and bird species exerting scavenging activity demonstrate seasonal and regional variation [77]. Postmortem injuries inflicted by domestic golden hamster: morphological aspects and evidence by DNA typing. Outdoor corpses may be attacked by pets, domestic dogs, cats, ants, and rodents during postmortem period [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. Irregular edges of wounds due to repetitive gnawing may be seen [10]. are seen [7, 9, 10, 12, 25] (Figures 7 and 8). However, studies performed have indicated that scavenging behavior and pattern of these animals are not usually coincidental [4, 5, 25, 42, 43, 44]. In indoor setting, attacks of dogs at corpse may start soon after death, in other words within hours [27, 28]. However, these tests have a lower reliability [52]. Conversely, in an observational study, Beck et al. Besides, small punctate and scratch-type lesions that can be confused with antemortem abrasion and acid wounds may be seen [24]. The Purpose of Examination of Post Mortem changes in Human Body: ... A man with a heart condition is attacked and dies from a heart attack during the assault. Besides, from regions of congestion developed because of remaining of the corpse at the same position for a long term, terminal ends of dermal capillaries bitten by ants may seriously bleed, which may be misinterpreted by investigators as signs of trauma [8, 17]. Especially when indoor postmortem rodent interference is suspected, searching for rodent nest at the incident site facilitates establishment of accurate diagnosis [13, 74]. Among scavenger carnivorans, pet dogs and cats that are responsible for attacks on corpses especially in indoor settings should also be mentioned. If the corpse was immersed in water, then many aquatic animals as fish, water rats, crabs, and amphipods may attack the corpse [14, 15, 16]. In December 2016, stray dogs devoured the corpse of a female tourist outside the post-mortem room of Bihar Hospital in India. Rodents may feed on corpses both in the open air and in confined space as home [9, 13, 25, 37, 48, 74]. Characteristic bite marks of crocodiles include holes pairing with each other and gradually getting closer to each other toward the nose [94] . Byard [17] reported two victims who had bullet entry holes on the nasal root, which deformed with postmortem rodent activity, and lesions on hands caused by rodent activity had been confused with defense wounds. Byard presented a case report concerning the corpse of a 17-year-old male who had been drown, which demonstrated clean cuts and elevated triangular skin defects in the form of flaps on the left side of his neck, hips, and upper thighs caused by scavenging activity of a large-sized shark [17]. If postmortem feeding is prolonged, then the scavenger may have left teeth marks on the victim’s bones. Adult insects leave their eggs on moist regions of the body, namely on wounds, eyes, lips, and genital region of fresh corpses, and with time, many herds of larvae of specific species come out of the eggs and develop [1]. According to Rothschild and Schneider [27], the most probable explanation of this condition was that the pet began to lick and poke its unconscious owner with the intention to help him. When teeth marks of an animal were detected on a corpse in indoor settings, if on the incident site Pitbulls, Rottweiler, and German shepherd dogs are found, then the possibility of an antemortem attack should also be considered. Shark bites cause clean cuts in skin and underlying soft tissue. In a case report presented by Steadman et al. Cell types functioning in wound healing and changes in the wound with time may be determined using histological examination [51]. Amputated left limb, extensive soft tissue, and muscle loss that exposed bone tissue of lower limbs and hip caused by postmortem Canidae scavenging activity. How? This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. animal scavenging or tidal action), on immersed corpses ... [14]. Teeth marks of the shark may change depending on the species and size of the shark. In other words, ant bites generally cause lesions characterized by absence of only epidermal layer. [59] indicated that levels of D-dimer are significantly higher in antemortem skin wounds relative to postmortem wounds. The commonly used nomogram method published by Henssge, 36 based on a single rectal temperature, results in an error of 2.8 to 7 hours in human subjects and may be used only for the first day or two after death, but this method may not be appropriate for animal carcasses, and caution must be used when extrapolating such data from humans to animals. [7] presented a putrefied corpse of a 63-year-old female, and they detected amputation at the level of elbow joints of both upper extremities, diffuse soft tissue, and bone defects exposing underlying bone tissue caused by scavenging activity of a dog. With their thick lips and modified pharynx, they hold on their victims, and they rub sharp teeth of their lower jaw on the wound and create characteristic circular and concave lesions. In such cases, analysis and interpretation of defective skeletal remains are requested from forensic anthropologist [19, 34, 40, 41]. After scavenging activity of birds, bones and personal belongings of the deceased may scatter around a large area. [74] presented a case of a 43-year-old woman whose hip and lower abdominal and genital regions were naked, which raised the suspicion of a sexual assault. The suspicion initially was that of homicidal mutilation of the corpse. The feeding patterns of species of large sharks on human corpses are well documented in the literature however, that of smaller ... trauma (e.g. We are a community of more than 103,000 authors and editors from 3,291 institutions spanning 160 countries, including Nobel Prize winners and some of the world’s most-cited researchers. Canidae uses its mandibular and maxillary canine teeth during feeding and create punctures and multiple numbers of adjacent tears in the soft tissue caused by shear–bites, which are termed as “one hole-one tear” combination [81]. When the rodent has enough time for feeding, it devours naked, unclothed, easily accessible parts of the body such as face and arms, till bones, (Figure 5) and this situation may create problems in identification of the victim. Dettling et al. A 41-year-old homeless victim was found dead inside an arbor. We are IntechOpen, the world's leading publisher of Open Access books. Accordingly, the following disarticulation sequence was defined: Stage 0: No evidence of disarticulation and loss of soft tissues at an early phase (postmortem 4 hours–14 days); Stage 1: Fragmentized ventral thorax characterized by loss of sternum, destruction of sternal ribs, evisceration, loss of scapula, partial/total loss of clavicula, and loss of one or both upper extremities (postmortem 22 days–2.5 months); Stage 2: In addition to stage 1, it also involves the lower extremities (postmortem 2–4.5 months); Stage 3: All parts of the skeleton excluding the vertebra are fragmentized, seriously injured, and destroyed. Hunger is the main factor for animal motivation in outdoor postmortem animal scavenging. Many animal species are members of this food chain. Postmortem scavenging lesions caused by animals belonging to the Canidae family are most frequently seen in nose, mouth, neck, and upper and lower extremities and least frequently in anus, penis, and abdomen [25]. Ancient Egyptians took extraordinary measures to slow decomposition, with some good results. Postmortem bite injuries caused by domestic dogs are not very common, but because of their special character and concomitant occurrence, explaining them requires extensive forensic expertise and knowledge of the basics of animal behavior. Besides, edema and redness on the edges of the wound that are signs of vitality are not observed [2, 21, 31, 49, 50]. It has been thought that pet dogs have regular food sources and do not feed on corpses; however, when they take a walk outside, they can also feed on corpses, and it has been indicated that in some circumstances, they may be unknown but important members of fauna consume corpses in the open air [5]. It has been indicated that in immunohistochemical analysis adhesion molecules as P-selectin, E-selectin, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 [53, 54, 55], inflammatory cytokines as fibronectin [56], IL-1, IL-6, TNF [57], and transforming growth factor (TGF) [58] can be used to discriminate between antemortem and postmortem wounds. Indeed, during or after feeding, these animals may change the anatomical location of bones. These cone-shaped lesions caused by beaks of the birds do not demonstrate any symmetry. The authors have analyzed reasons for the damage of human body caused by the dogs, with suspicion of fatal biting. Wounds caused by animals belonging to the Felidae family have sharper and smooth edges just as cut by a knife, and on the edges of the wounds, linear, scratch-type lesions formed by paws may be detected [10, 29, 44, 85]. Loss of skin may lead to disappearance of tattoos and old surgical scars, which may be used for identification of the victim [18]. Missing extremity parts and bone fractures including cranial fractures can be seen after attacks by crocodiles. Brown bear incidents have occurred in their native range spanning Alaska, Northern and Western Canada, and portions of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. Byard presented a case of a 59-year-old victim whose autopsy revealed ischemic heart disease as the cause of death. "Postmortem change in human and animal remains: A Systematic Approach provides a unique, synthetic treatment of postmortem change presented in a systematic fashion with attention to the relative chronologies of both physical and cultural factors that influence human and animal remains. They indicated that in the Mediterranean Sea main scavenger species are decapods such as crabs and fish, while in the Atlantic Ocean, amphibians as lysianassid species are also involved in the scavenging activity, which speeds up consumption of the corpses. Moreover, some authors have claimed that swelling only due to decomposition and decay incurred by worms may disarray clothes, which can be seen as attempts of sexual assault [64]. Login to your personal dashboard for more detailed statistics on your publications. In postmortem injuries, any defense wound on the victim’s corpse is not present [26, 45, 46]. Makino et al. Tiger Attacks Woman. It has been indicated that for postmortem scavenging activity of domestic cats and dogs living in confined spaces, the corpse should belong to a socially isolated individual living alone at home and also there should be a pet (cats and dogs) moving freely at home, but cannot reach its food [26]. Rothschild and Schneider [27] presented a case of a 31-year-old male who was living with his mother and an Alsatian dog. Death and the changes that follow have been ingrained in society since the dawn of history. During early postmortem period, sea stars cause development of hematomas by sucking action, which may be easily confused with antemortem hematomas. During postmortem period, lesions caused by animal attacks may be evaluated and misinterpreted as antemortem lesions as ligature mark, firearm wound, or stab wound [2, 7, 9, 10, 13, 20]. If only skeletal tissue was left behind because of scavenging activity of carnivores, the attacking animal may be identified looking on the length and width of the bite marks on the bone [33, 34]. If crows and magpies want to feed on larvae in cancellous bone, they will remove outer cortical layer of the bone and cause cone-shaped lesions in the cancellous bone. Dumser et al. There have been some truly insane animal attacks on humans caught on camera over the last few years. The most important issue in the presence of lesions on the corpse caused by animals is to accurately discriminate between antemortem and postmortem wounds. Birds frequently leave their teeth marks on the center of the long bones or flat parts of irregularly shaped bones as scapula and innominate bone [76]. It was determined that postmortem rodent injuries, detected at autopsy but not in the photographs taken at the scene and in the reports of the scene investigator, had taken place within a short time as approximately 45–60 minutes [13]. A cadaver is a dead human body that is used by medical students, physicians and other scientists to study anatomy, identify disease sites, determine causes of death, and provide tissue to repair a defect in a living human being. "Motivation" of the animal. Sea lice may surround corpses immersed in ocean very rapidly. Postmortem attacks by pet dogs have been reported more frequently when compared with domestic cats [6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, 25, 27, 29]. Carnivorous animals frequently cause destructive changes on epiphyseal ends of long bones; transverse and spinous processes of vertebras; and distal ends of ribs, scapula, and hip bones [33, 37]. In order to identify the species of the offending animal that demonstrated postmortem scavenging activity, it is very important to know scavenging animals peculiar to this region [5, 20]. Outdoor corpses may be attacked by many predacious and scavenger animals and exposed to complete destruction, and bones and belongings of the dead person may be scattered all over a large area due to postmortem animal activity. presented a 60-year-old woman who had committed suicide and whose corpse had been found 6 days later in the ocean. However, similar bite marks may be detected on clothes, and shark teeth buried in the bone can be found [90]. Our team is growing all the time, so we’re always on the lookout for smart people who want to help us reshape the world of scientific publishing. presented three cases of postmortem piranha feeding [93]. Amputated hand, extensive soft tissue, and muscle loss that exposed bone tissue of head, neck, and upper extremity caused by postmortem activity of rodents are seen in (b). Soft tissue loss of 2 × 1 cm with semilunar-shaped notches of 0.1 cm in the edges due to postmortem small fishes scavenging on the left temple (Archive of Council of Forensic Medicine, Turkey). The authors indicated that only a small amount of fresh flesh had been detected on his abdomen, while the remaining parts of his body had been completely skeletonized. Worms release proteolytic digestive secretions and thus soften tissues and create subcutaneous tunnels and sinuses during their passage, which accelerate putrefaction of the corpse [1]. A case that posed some problems for the crime scene investigators on discovering a dead body indoors, which had both ears missing is discussed. Autopsies had disclosed the presence of postmortem wounds, which had been attributed to a large water monitor, i.e., kabaragoya (Varanus salvator salvator), and which is the second largest lizard after Komodo monster living in Sri Lanka. At the time of dying, clothes may be opened, and exposed genital organs may be depredated by animals during postmortem period, which may raise the suspicion of sexual mutilation [17, 21]. © 2018 The Author(s). Zerrin Erkol, Erdem Hösükler, Postmortem Animal Attacks on Human Corpses, Post Mortem Examination and Autopsy - Current Issues From Death to Laboratory Analysis, 10.5772/intechopen.68970, (2018). The only non-fatal animal attack to make it on the list, Charla Nash’s stomach-churning injuries have become famous. In the author’s own case, a 75–80-year-old solitary woman in bad socioeconomic status was found dead at home. [29] presented a case of a 32-year-old male who was found dead at home, and tissue losses of his head, neck, and upper right extremity related to scavenging activity of a cat had been reported.

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