1. What is liver mortis? How might this reveal information about the time of death?
Liver mortis is the settling of blood in the lower parts of the body. It might help reveal information about the time of death because this process begins at about 8 to 12 hours after death.
2. What three aspects does a forensic autopsy seek information about? Describe each of these aspects?
Cause of death, mechanism of death and manner of death.
3. How can digestion rates give information to forensic scientists about the time of death?
When someone dies, digestion of any food eaten ceases. Forensics can use this information to see how far along the digestive process food has traveled.
4. What is mummification?
5. How can human bones give forensic scientists an indication of age? Describe some of the aspects that would give this information.
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Imagine that you are at a crime scene. You find skeletal remains, but the skeleton is not complete as some of the smaller bones are missing. The bones are within a twenty feet radius. Based on this information, what would you be able to ascertain about the time of death and the individual who was killed?
2. Out of the different methods to help determine the time of death, which one do you think is most effective? Why?
3. Do you think you would like to participate in an autopsy? Why or why not?
4. If you were a forensic anthropologist and were studying human remains, what information would you look for in the bones? Why would this information be helpful?
5. What can the distribution of bones tell a forensic scientist? What do you think would be the most challenging aspect of collecting skeletal remains at a crime scene?