A recent study published in Nature Microbiology has revealed that deceased bodies share more similarities than previously thought. Despite their differences in origin, all corpses 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.
The study involved burying 36 donated corpses in different locations with distinct environmental features. Despite the varying conditions, researchers found that all samples taken from the bodies featured the same selection of microbes. Additionally, insects could potentially carry these microbes to decomposing human and animal remains, further linking them together.
Dr. Devin Finaughty, who was not involved in the study, explained that decomposition is a process whereby organisms consume organic material for food, breeding ground, nursery, and shelter. It is different from physical degradation caused by erosive forces like water. The decomposition system revolves around dead bodies as a resource for many organisms, making it a crucial part of the natural world’s ecosystems.
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In conclusion, this research highlights how much we still have to learn about ourselves and our place in nature through studying corpses’ unique characteristics and behaviors within their environment.