Rodent scavenging of pig remains potentially increases oviposition sites for primary colonizers. Academic Article uri icon


  • The feeding of vertebrate scavengers on animal remains has been noted for at least 30years in relation to the creation of postmortem artifacts. However, the subsequent impact on other necrophagous arthropods, which interact with these remains has not been well documented. Herein, we report a rodent (Rattus spp.) feeding event that altered a perimortem wound beneath the jaw of a decomposing swine carcass. Point trauma such as this has been cited as insufficient for insect colonization; however, the resulting enlargement of the wound due to scavenger feeding has the potential to serve as an oviposition site where colonization would typically not be expected otherwise (i.e., in the absence of a wound or the presence of a small wound such as point trauma). In fact, colonization was observed surrounding the site of scavenger alteration. If scavenger artifacts (e.g., postmortem alteration of remains by feeding) are not identified appropriately and recognized for the effects they may have on necrophagous arthropods then associated assessments in forensic investigations could be affected.

published proceedings

  • J Forensic Sci

altmetric score

  • 2.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Flint, C. A., Sawyer, S. J., Rhinesmith-Carranza, J., & Tomberlin, J. K.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Flint, Casey A||Sawyer, Samantha J||Rhinesmith-Carranza, Jennifer||Tomberlin, Jeffery K

publication date

  • July 2022