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An Examination of the Transition of Fracture Characteristics in Long Bones from Fresh to Dry in Central Florida: Evaluating the Timing of Injury

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It is important to conduct timing of injury research analyzing fracture characteristics at known postmortem intervals (PMI) because bone can retain fresh characteristics throughout the PMI. Defleshed pig (Sus scrofa) long bones were fractured weekly in two environments (full sun and shade) over 14 weeks in Central Florida and fracture characteristics were categorized (N = 136) for analysis. Results of analysis of variance (ANOVA) using time in weeks (PMI) as a dependent variable indicate significant relationships between PMI and Fracture Angle (p < 0.001), Fracture Surface (p < 0.001), and Fracture Outline (p < 0.001). Fracture characteristics associated with perimortem trauma (smooth Fracture Surfaces and curved or V‐shaped Fracture Outlines) were commonly observed. Analysis of fracture characteristics for each environment demonstrated similar patterns. Overall, the loss of only fresh fracture characteristics for each bone was noted earlier in the PMI for the Central Florida region than previously reported.
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Keywords: forensic anthropology; forensic science; forensic taphonomy; fracture characteristics; perimortem and postmortem fracture characteristics; trauma analysis; wet and dry bone

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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