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Forensic entomology post-mortem

Forensic entomology post-mortem

H200/0115

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Credit

VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Post-mortem being carried out by German forensic entomologist Mark Benecke (born 1970). Benecke has worked worldwide on forensic entomology, the study of insects to solve crimes. Insects begin to feed and lay eggs on dead bodies immediately following death. Blowflies lay eggs that hatch into maggots that feed on the decaying flesh. Ham beetles then feed on the dried muscles and fat, while dermestid beetles later feed on desiccated hair and skin. It is the presence or absence of various insects and their larva at various times in this sequence, and local conditions, that allow an unknown time of death to be estimated. Photographed in Dusseldorf University Clinic, Germany.

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