Body Decomposition

Not all bodies break down in the same manner. Some bodies may attract insects within minutes while others can be hours or longer. climate conditions also play an important factor in the rate of decomposition.

  • When death occurs the cells begin to die and enzymes break them down inside out (autolysis). Bacteria in the gastrointestinal track destroy soft tissue and produce liquids and gasses like hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen. these volatile molecules attract a multitude of insects to the corpse.


The study shown in the article

“A Road Map for Bridging Basic and Applied Research in Forensic Entomology.”  By: Tomberlin, J. K.; Mohr, R.; Benbow, M. E.; et al.  displays six swine corpses that were euthanized at the same time and placed in a forest. The corpses were in various stages of decomposition. scientist have to factor in individual scenarios where insects arrived sooner than the others or later. 

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