Initial studies in forensic entomology in Saskatchewan : decomposition and insect succession on pig carrion in the prairie ecozone
Research was conducted on decomposition and insect succession in the Prairie Ecozone of Saskatchewan. Twenty-four domestic pig carcasses were employed as human models for applications to future homicide investigations in this region. Several variables were considered including the effect of season, habitat (sun versus shade), and clothing. Research was conducted over three seasons: spring summer and fall. Ambient temperature, internal carcass temperature, faunistic succession over time, and the rate of decay were all compared for each experimental variable. Results indicated that habitat was only a factor in the decompositional rate of carrion in the spring season. The ambient temperature was the chief factor determining the seasonal variations in decay rate. Patterns of insect succession occurred in a predictable sequence that was unique in different habitats and different seasons. Clothing was shown to decelerate decay, but not to alter the arrival times of major taxa.