A Dead Bird and Blow Flies

How one dead bird turned into an on-the-fly science experiment.
Inside Science Contributor

(Inside Science) -- Christine Picard is the biology director at the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program at Purdue School of Science at IUPUI. Among many things, she studies blow flies. In general, the flies are metallic blue, green or black in color and tend to be noisy when flying around. They lay eggs in decomposing organic matter, like garbage, animal manure and decaying vegetables and are important in nature in the decay process of animal carcasses -- they're usually the first insects to arrive within hours or even minutes after an animal dies. One day Picard noticed a dead bird outside her window, but not many blow flies had accumulated on the body. So she did her own little experiment.

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A Dead Bird and Blow Flies

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