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Re: The death throes of drowning, version 2



>
>   It is my understanding that part of the evidence that supports the theory
>of post-mortem contraction of ligaments comes from observation of extant
>creatures.  What I want to know is if there has been similar observation of
>extant drowning victims; ie somebody pulled an animal out of its watery
>grave (human or otherwise) and took note of whether it was in the "classic
>dinosaurian death pose."  If so, did it support or disprove the notion of
>contortion due to drowning?

I've retrieved a few small animals (mice, gophers, etc.) from my pool over
the past few years.  They probably weren't there for more than a few days,
but I don't recall any having a contorted "death pose".  Most of them were
just plain waterlogged.  I've also seen waterfowl and other animals in more
natural watery "graves" and observed much the same situation (often with
more advanced decomposition).

>   While I'm thinking of it, somebody mentioned drowned bodies orienting
>themselves to the current.  Is the orientation broadside, so that the head
>and tail are parallel to the current, simulating the death pose, or is the
>entire length of the body parallel to the current?

I'd assume that the body is going to respond to hydrodynamic forces until
it offers the least resistance to the flow of the water (unless it is held
by somethink like rocks or branches).  I'd assume that this would be with
the body parallel to the flow.

Art Berggreen
art@acc.com