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Nature 219, 1180 - 1181 (14 September 1968); doi:10.1038/2191180a0

Arthropod Succession and Decomposition of Buried Pigs


Department of Entomology and Zoology, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.
Crops Research Division, US Agricultural Research Service, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.
*Present address: Market Quality Research Division, ARS, USDA, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton, Georgia.

THE decomposition of animals after death is of limited aesthetic appeal but very important. Several recent papers1–5 have described aspects of the ecology of carrion on the soil surface or other exposed locations. With the exception of a few medico-legal papers6–8 that discuss arthropods of tombs and graves, little or nothing is known concerning the processes of decomposition of animal bodies beneath the soil.



1. Bornemissza, G. F., Austral. J. Zool., 5, 1 (1957).
2. Elton, C. S., The Pattern of Animal Communities, 319 (Methuen, London, 1966).
3. , Reed, jun., H. B., Amer. Mid. Naturalist, 59, 213 (1958).
4. Payne, J. A., Ecology, 46, 592 (1965). | ISI |
5. Payne, J. A., Dissertation Abstr., 28, 1734B (1967).
6. Megnin, P., Revue Scient. Bourbonnais Centre Fr., 1, 261 (1888).
7. Megnin, P., La Faune des Cadames, Application de l'Entomologie à la Médecine Légale, 96 (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1894).
8. Motter, M. G., J. NY Entomol. Soc., 6, 201 (1898).
9. Reinhard, H., Verhandl. Zool. Botan. Ges. Wein., 31, 207 (1881).
10. Folsom, J. W., Psyche, 9, 363 (1902).

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