The Science of Forensic Entomology by Rivers & Dahlem

The Science of Forensic Entomology

Author: David B. Rivers & Gregory A. Dahlem
Release at: 2014
Pages: 402
Edition: First Edition
Language: English

Description of The Science of Forensic Entomology

The Science of Forensic Entomology by David B. Rivers & Gregory A. Dahlem is a great book for insects studies. Welcome to the endlessly fascinating world of insects! For most people, insects are creatures that simply annoy. They buzz around at picnics and the beach, landing unwelcome on food, taking a plunge into cans of soda, or drawing blood from an arm or leg. These ravenous beasts can destroy our food when attacking crops or if they simply invade a kitchen pantry. Insects can also vector many devastating diseases to humans, pets, and livestock, yielding high mortality rates in several regions of the world. Based on these wonderful experiences, a simple definition of an insect to the lay community probably reads something like “a multilegged ‘worm’ or ‘bug’ that is gross, slimy, and which bites humans at every opportunity.” The necrophagous activity of insects on animal carcasses (carrion), including human corpses, probably does little to alleviate this view.

Fascinating world of insects? Yes indeed! The biology of Insecta is unmatched by any other group of animals, particularly when taking into account the species richness of terrestrial and aquatic environments. Insects are highly adaptable in all life-history characteristics, including morphology, physiology, and behavior; display multiple lifestyles that can change with development; are attuned to seasonal change and respond with highly evolved genetic programs that promote survival; utilize several forms of locomotion, including flight (shared only with birds and bats), aquatic propulsion and jumping (some maggots literally grab their posterior end with their mouth to propel upward); and show amazing efficiency at such tasks as food acquisition, nutrient assimilation, wound healing and fertilization. In the words of the immortal lab rat Brain (of the cartoon Pinky and the Brain2), insects have achieved “world domination.”

This text explores the incredible world of insects from a uniquely applied view: the intersection of insect biology with the judicial system. Each chapter addresses a specific topic of forensic science or forensic entomology, delving into the underlying biological principles and concepts relevant to insect Biology that form the bases for using insects to help resolve legal issues.

Content of The Science of Forensic Entomology

Chapter 1: Role of forensic science in criminal investigations

Chapter 2: History of forensic entomology

Chapter 3: Role of insects and other arthropods in urban and stored product entomology

Chapter 4: Introduction to entomology

Chapter 5: Biology, taxonomy, and natural history of forensically important insects

Chapter 6: Reproductive strategies of necrophagous flies

Chapter 7: Chemical attraction and communication

Chapter 8: Biology of the maggot mass

Chapter 9: Temperature tolerances of necrophagous flies

Chapter 10: Postmortem decomposition of human remains and vertebrate carrion

Chapter 11: Insect succession on carrion under natural and artificial conditions

Chapter 12: Postmortem interval

Chapter 13: Insect alterations of bloodstain evidence

Chapter 14: Necrophagous and parasitic flies as indicators of neglect and abuse

Chapter 15: Application of molecular methods to forensic entomology

Chapter 16: Archaeoentomology: insects and archaeology

Chapter 17: Insects as weapons of war and threats to national security

Chapter 18: Deadly insects

Appendix I Collection and preservation of calyptrate Diptera

Appendix II Getting specimens identified

Appendix III Necrophagous fly life table references



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