Decomposition Study

Decomposition study: Day 1

Day 1

Borough Hall Park is littered with rats. You can’t walk through it at night without the sounds of rustling in the bushes and leaves on the ground. At first glance, you’d think there were many squirrels prancing around. But during the day, you never see any gray squirrels. On closer inspection, you’ll notice they’re rats. Walking towards the subway, I ran into the above sight. The rat was covered with flies and someone had stepped on it, which exposed the innards. How did it die? Borough Hall park is filled with rodent baiting stations filled with anticoagulant poisons. These poisons cause anything that consumes them to bleed to death internally.

Day 2

Decomposition study: Day 2
The next day, someone(s) obviously stepped on the body some more. Once again, this juvenile rat was covered in flies. While it was cool out, there should have been many maggots covering it. But there were none.

Day 3

Decomposition study: Day 3
One day later and someone else obviously stepped on the body. It was covered with flies again, yet no maggots.

Day 4

Decomposition study: Day 4
On the fourth day, the rodent corpse was still present. As I knelt down to take the picture, someone walked right over it. New Yorkers are very oblivious… Still no maggots on the corpse. By the end of the day, the body was finally disposed of. Very little decomposition occurred since there were now maggots breaking down the corpse. The lack of maggots despite the numerous flies probably results from the poison effecting the development and growth of the maggots.


There is obviously a rodent problem in our city. These problems came from the introduction of rats when Europeans arrived and from the activity of our citizens. How many times have you seen people feeding animals in the parks? How many times have you seen overflowing trash receptacles on the corners of the streets? There is ample food waste that can support the millions of vermin in the city. The poison is a temporary solution. It does not address the abundant food waste that can feed the vermin.
The picture above shows a corpse that was found at the same time as the initial image at top. This illustrates that the bodies of these rats do not decompose like we expect where they would rot and be consumed by maggots.

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One Response to Decomposition Study

  1. I like this decomposition process. Interesting!!

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