The effects of winter and scavenging upon the rate of decomposition and disarticulation in the Ottawa Valley Region of Eastern Ontario


Beifuss, Nicole Tanya Elizabeth




This experimental field research was designed to examine how the variable of freezing due to natural winter conditions in a rural setting would affect the rate and characteristics of decomposition of pig carcasses. The experiment was conducted in the county of Lanark, Eastern Ontario, commencing in February and spanning until the beginning of June, 2000. The variable of scavenger interaction and the integral role that they play in the rate of decay was also examined. It was determined that the effects of winter and scavenger interaction obscured the characteristic stages of decomposition. Scavengers seemingly increased the overall rate of decay to the skeletal state. The type or species of scavenger greatly effected the rate of disarticulation and the distance and degree to which skeletal remains were dispersed. Moreover, the participation and feeding behaviour of scavengers impeded the presence and colonization of necrophagous insects.


Decomposition (Chemistry)
Entomology -- Fieldwork
Forensic anthropology




Carleton University

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