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By Jennifer MacKay

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44 80% Telling Age from Bones Another important clue that human bones reveal to forensic anthropologists is how old the person was at the time of his or her death. Bones change throughout a person’s life. They grow a great deal between birth and maturity, and then they become increasingly brittle throughout adulthood. Because the bones of all humans, regardless of ethnicity or gender, grow and change, it is often possible for anthropologists to determine from skeletal remains the approximate age a person was at the time of death.

Entomologists’ professional opinion in of a fly found on the making time-of-death determinations is important not just because they have the knowledge to identify which insect body of a murder victim. species are present on a body but also because they know 36 Death’s Timeline details about insect species that may be By the Numbers important to the investigation, such as the time of year a particular species is most active or the environmental conditions, such as temperature, that may affect a species’ ability to reproduce.

If a suspicious drop or stain is found, a crime scene technician needs a quick way to determine whether or not the specimen should be collected for further analysis. “For practical reasons,” say Joe Nickell and John F. ”54 One method for doing this is the Kastle-Meyer color test. A swab of the substance suspected to be blood is smeared on a slip of filter paper that contains a chemical called phenolphthalein, which turns bright pink when exposed to even a tiny amount of blood. This test is a quick and easy way to determine whether visible stains at the scene of a crime are blood that should be collected as evidence in the case.

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