How Long Does it Take for Animals to Decompose?

Decomposition is the process by which the bodies of living organisms are rotted down after some time of being dead. This process is carried on by the insects, bacteria and fungi that are known as the decomposers, as they make their food out this decomposing process. The substance produced as the result of the decomposition process which is known as the skeleton is used as the element for further recycling processes in various areas of life.

Stages of decomposition:

The process of decomposition involves five stages;

  1. Unprocessed carcass: this is the pre-decomposition stage in which the freshly dead body is buried down the ground.
  2. Bloat: Bloat is the initial stage of the decomposition process, microorganisms known as decomposers head towards the carcass and accumulates the gases inside the body in this stage.
  3. Active corrosion: at this stage the mass of the carcass starts broking down.
  4. Progressed decay: the advanced mass loss of the dead body is characterized by the progress decay stage of decomposition.
  5. Final stage: skeleton: this is the final stage of decomposition in which the body that once had flesh and skin has turned out in a complete dry skeleton.

Time span of different animals to get decomposed:

The period in which an animal gets decomposed vary among different animals. Large-sized animals possess longer decomposition cycles as compared to small-sized animals. This process of decomposition also depends upon the environmental factors. The decomposition process takes place slowly in very dry and very wet weather and it is faster in moist conditions. In some cases it may take a few weeks to complete the decomposition process and in other it may last for years. Sometimes, even the bones get decomposed after long periods.  

Decomposition of Rats:

Flies are the main decomposers of the rats or rodents, the take almost three weeks or a few more to decompose the whole rodent. Its decomposition depends upon the various factors mentioned earlier.

Decomposition of Raccoons:

The bodies of raccoons decompose faster in hot and humid environment. They generally take three to four-month to be completely decomposed into a skeleton under shaded areas.

Decomposition of average-sized animals:

Average sized animals like cats, dogs, and goats; etc takes about one to three years to decompose depending upon their sizes.

Decomposition of large-sized animals:

Elephant, Whales or other big animals possess the decomposition cycles starting from three years and may last for fifty years or even more to be completely decomposed.

Decomposition and Recycling:

Medical researchers have proved that the decomposed bodies of dead animals can result in being the useful substances to be recycled. They provide agricultural aids, helps in wildlife and also in the production of biofuels. Scientists are noted to be very interesting in the decomposition to utilize them in recycling. 

Bottom Line:

Every living body that dies has to go through the process of decomposition, but the period of the decomposition is different for different animals depending upon specific predefined factors. 

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