Volume 37, Issue 6 (November 1992)
Contribution of Rodents to Postmortem Artifacts of Bone and Soft Tissue
Postmortem disturbance of human remains by rodents extends beyond production of characteristic tooth mark artifacts in dry bones. Three case examples are presented that demonstrate a spectrum of rodent damage to dry and fresh bone and to fresh and mummified soft tissue. In one case, human remains are used for nesting purposes. Rodents are also noted to be vectors of bone transport. Rodent activities can affect bone recovery, human identification, and interpretation of artifacts to bone and soft tissue. Guidelines to differentiate soft tissue artifacts caused by rodents and carnivores are suggested.