Scientists have discovered that corpses, regardless of their origin, share similarities when it comes to microbial networks. Dead bodies contain bacteria and fungal decomposers that are rare in the rest of the world. These microbes play an essential role in the natural world by breaking down corpses and becoming part of the “decomposition ecosystem” to help with plant production.
Researchers recently buried 36 donated corpses in different locations with distinct environmental features. Despite the varying conditions, they found that all samples taken from the bodies featured the same selection of microbes. Insects could also carry these microbes to decomposing human and animal remains.
Dr. Devin Finaughty, not involved in the study, explained that decomposition is the consumption of organic material by other organisms and is distinct from physical degradation by erosive forces like water. The decomposition system revolves around dead bodies as a resource for food, breeding ground, nursery, and shelter for many organisms.
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