IP International Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicological Sciences

Postmortem cadaveric depredation by animals– A diagnostic dilemma

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Author Details: Ashish Tyagi, Shashank Tyagi, Nishtha Malik, Hitesh Chawla

Volume : 1

Issue : 1

Online ISSN : 2456-9615

Print ISSN : 2581-9844

Article First Page : 20

Article End Page : 23


Post-mortem animal predation may sometimes confuse at first sight with injuries of crucial origin, thus arousing suspicion of ante-mortem external violence. A reliable differentiation of the origin of such uncertain injuries is of vital importance, a fact that is mainly true for the investigation of suspected homicide and/or man made body mutilation after death. In forensic pathology, the identification of injuries caused by animals as post-mortem artefact is usually done by forensic pathologists with vast practical experience and special knowledge of the appearance and morphology of tooth marks of carnivores and rodents, respectively. Meticulous examination can only help to differentiate the cut in bones by sharp weapons or sawing of long bones by sharp weapons, for surgical amputation, from gnawing of dead bones by wild animals, showing no ante-mortem reaction. Here, we present a case report of a young adult male individual, who was found dead on railway tracks with alleged history of railway accident and all the facial features distorted by animal scavengers resulting in difficulty in identification, injury differentiation & cause and manner of death.

Artefact, post-mortem, Scavenging, Depredation, Animals, Injuries, Mutilation