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Melissa Mayntz

Vultures Helping Science

By February 3, 2012

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Birders know that vultures have a keen sense of smell and the ability to strip flesh from carrion quickly, but forensic science is only just taking advantage of vultures' skills. According to New Scientist, a recent study in Texas has used a donated cadaver to learn about how quickly vultures can "skeletonize" a corpse, including how the birds spread the remains. The information can help forensic scientists learn more about determining time of death when they find isolated body parts and how birds might play a role in distributing remains far from the location of a body.

If you had the ability to choose how your donation might be used, would you consider donating your body to scientific bird studies? Share your vulture-friendly ideas in the comments!

Bones
Photo Louis

Comments

February 3, 2012 at 11:36 am
(1) cathartes says:

Interesting. I knew our bodies could be donated for medical science purposes but didn’t know about bird studies.

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