Recognition of the effects of predatory action of macrofauan requires particular conduct by the forensic pathologist engaged in investigation of corpses that have been dismembered or in which the post-mortem transformation processes have proceeded in an unusual manner. In this context, forensic taphonomy has developed investigation procedures that assist in the finding and recovery of missing body parts, determination of time of death and differentiation between vital lesions and post-mortem artefacts. In order to study the application of these taphonomic methods in our regions, the Authors conducted a retrospective analysis of five cases of corpses exposed to predatory action by carrion-eating fauna, in particular Canidae. In this analysis particular attention was given to death cronology aspects in relation to the time of skeletonisation and to the morphological aspects of post-mortem artefacts. A comparison with similar studies in literature confirmed the difficulty of medico-legal assessments in view of the numerous variables that profoundly affect the extent of deteriorationof corpses eaten by Canidae (such as number, species and size) and the need to adopt procedures that allow the greatest possible number of body parts to be recovered during the site visit.
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