Identifier

etd-1111102-115404

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography and Anthropology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Three pig (Sus scrofa L.) carcasses were exposed during the summer in three different biogeoclimatic zones ranging in elevations from 6,700 to 11,100 feet in order to determine the rates of carrion decomposition and arthropod succession patterns on carrion in southwest Colorado. The carcasses were exposed in three scenarios: sun-exposed, shaded, and sun-exposed/shaded. Of the total 63 taxa collected, thirty species overlapped between two biogeoclimatic zones. A strong elevational preference is indicated for the Sarcophagidae taxon. A previously undescribed Boettcheria species was collected at 11,100 feet. The rates of decomposition lengthened as elevation increased due to a prolongation of the bloat stage. Natural mummification occurred at the two highest elevational sites. The meteorological data recorded at the local NOAA stations did not reflect the weather conditions that occurred during the same time period in the three biogeoclimatic zones.

Date

2002

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mary H. Manhein

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