North-Central Section - 48th Annual Meeting (24–25 April)

Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


HANTTULA, Natassja and KOY, Karen A., Biology, Missouri Western State University, 4525 Downs Drive, Saint Joseph, MO 64507,

In the summer of 2012, seven juvenile pig carcasses were placed in either a prairie or forest setting. After the majority of soft tissue had decayed, the exposed bones are being monitored biweekly. Four carcasses are placed in an enclosure in a prairie setting. Three carcasses, including two which had been exposed to fire, were placed in an enclosure located at the edge of a forest. The enclosures exclude large scavengers, such as dogs and humans, but allow insects and smaller scavengers, such as raccoons and opossums, to access the carcasses. Missing and damaged bones were noted and photographed. Each week the skull, mandible, scapula, pelvic wings and long bones are evaluated for taphonomic grade, using the Behrensmeyer evaluation criteria. The criteria are being modified slightly to account for differences in bone decay seen in the juvenile carcasses.