Post-mortal lesions in freshwater environment

Stefano Vanin, Silvano Zancaner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Postmortem animal feeding activity may cause considerable damage to bodies resulting in the modification of wounds, loss of identifying features and injury. Certain postmortem lesions may appear inflicted or non-inflicted antemortem injuries. At present, apart from cases in sea water, no data are available about post mortal lesions performed by aquatic organisms. This note that represents the first report concerning colonisation of a dead body by crustaceans a few hours after death, describes injuries caused by the amphipod Niphargus elegans on the face, and in particular on the eye region, of a young man dead by drowning.The lesions recorded in this case are comparable with the lesions caused by ants. The high plasticity in the food choice can allow Amphipoda to colonise drowning bodies in every moment after dead, however the benthonic behaviour of these animals suggests a more important role in the colonisation during post-mortem submersion periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e18-e20
Number of pages3
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-3
Early online date25 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2011


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