Material and Methods

Six freshly killed pig (Sus scrofa L.) carcasses were placed at two depths in the Howe Sound, close to a small private island. Howe Sound is a fjord northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, running from West Vancouver north up to Squamish, along the Sunshine Coast, with its' mouth at the Strait of Georgia. Some of this work is published in Anderson (2009) and Anderson and Hobischak (2002, 2004). The pigs weighed 20-25 kg each and were euthanized using a pin-gun. After death, the carcasses were taken immediately by boat to the research sites. Each carcass was taken by divers to a pre-established site at a depth of either 7.6 or 15.2 m. Each site was separated by at least 150 m and each carcass was attached to a concrete weight by a 2 m long nylon rope. This allowed the carcass to float or sink naturally depending on decompositional stage, but still maintained the carcass in the correct area. Divers examined the remains at varying times from submergence until only a few bones remained. Video and still photographs were taken at each examination time and samples were collected. Examination times varied with diver and boat availability. The first set of experiments was begun in May and terminated in October (spring experiments) and a second set of experiments was begun in October and terminated the following May (fall experiments).

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