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Chapter 02 "The Crime Scene"

Use these activities to learn the vocabulary and major topics presented in this chapter

AB
algor mortisPostmortem changes that cause a body to lose heat
autopsymedical dissection and examination of a body in order to determine the cause of death
buccal swabA swab of the inner portion of the cheek; cheek cells are usually collected to determine the DNA profile of an individual
chain of custodyA list of all people who came into possession of an item of evidence
finished sketchA precise rendering of the crime scene, usually drawn to scale
livor mortisthe medical condition that occurs after death and results in the settling of blood in areas of the body closest to the ground
physical evidenceAny object that can establish that a crime has been committed or can link a crime and its victim or its perpetrator
rigor mortisThe medical condition that occurs after death and results in the stiffening of body parts in the position they are in when death occurs
rough sketchA draft representation drawn at the crime scene of all essential information and measurements at a crime scene
standard/reference samplePhysical evidence whose origin is known, such as blood or hair from a suspect, that can be compared to crime-scene evidence
substrate controlUncontaminated surface material close to an area where physical evidence has been deposited, used to ensure that the surface on which a sample has been deposited does not interfere with laboratory tests
physical evidenceall and any objects that can establish a crime has been committed, can link a crime and its victim, or can link a crime and its perpetrator
spiral search patternstarts at the center and works outward or start at the perimeter and works toward the center of crime scene
Strip/Parallel/Line Search Patternteam form a line and walk in a straight line, at the same speed, from one end to the other
Grid Search Patternsimply two parallel searches, offset by 90 degrees, performed one after the other
Quadrant/Zone Search Patternthe crime scene divided into sectors, and each team member takes one sector, team members may then switch sectors and search again to ensure complete coverage
forensic pathologistmedical examiner or coroner who performs autopsy to determine cause of death in suspicious or unexplained deaths
vitreous potassium levelsused to estimate time of death based on [K] in fluid in eyeball, uses formula (7.14 x [K]) – 39.1 = hours since death
forensic anthropologyidentification and examination of human skeletal remains
initial decay stage of decomposition(0-3 days) bacteria digest intestines, flies lay eggs around wounds and orifices
putrification stage of decomposition(4-10 days) anaerobic bacteria releases gases (methane, cadaverine, putrisine) which inflate body, maggots move through body
black putrification stage of decomposition(10-20 days) skin bursts, body collapses, flesh cream, air exposed flesh blackens, maggots leave body to pupate, beetles and wasps enter tissues
butyric fermentation stage of decomposition(20-50 days) most of flesh gone, cheese odor from butyric acid, beetle larvae replace maggots
dry decay stage of decomposition(50-365 days) body dry slow decay continues, hair decays and fed on by moths, only bones remain
forensic entomologyuse of the insects, and their arthropod relatives that inhabit decomposing remains to aid legal investigations to estimate the postmortem interval based on the age of the insect present and the species of insect present
molting (ecdysis)process of insect growth involving the shedding old skin and growing new larger one
stadiumperiod of time between two molts
instarname give to insect between molts
gradual metamorphosis (hemimetabolous)insect life cycle in which immature forms and adults utilize the same food source (egg-nymph-adult)
complete metamorphosis (holometabolous)insect life cycle in which immature forms and adults utilize different food sources (egg-larva-pupa-adult)
oviparousinsects that lay eggs
ovoviviparousinsects whose eggs hatch within the female body to release live larva
blow fliesfirst insects to colonize corpse, blue/green metallic bodies, females capable of flying 20 km to find body
flesh fliessecond insects to colonize corpse, striped bodies and red eyes
rave and hister beetlesputrification stage beetles feed on fly maggots
hide and ham beetlesdry decay stage beetles feed on skin and tendons of corpse
parasitic wasps (Ichneimonidae)lay eggs on fly larva and pupa
mothslast insects to colonize, feed on hair/fur


Science Instructor
Bronxville High School
Bronxville, NY

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