Dr. Jerry Payne's time lapse movie of the decomposition of a baby pig. The technique of time-lapse photography is employed to illustrate the rapid removal of carrion (4 days reduced to approximately 6 minutes). The film demonstrates the sequence of tissue destruction and the role of insects in the ultimate dismemberment of the pig carcass and soil movement. The pink and purple beads were added to show the intense activities of the insects in moving the carcass and soil.
Payne writes..."My study was the first "detailed" study of succession in animal decomposition and the first with the pig as the model. The significance of the pig is that it closely approximates the human body (skin, body hair, size etc.) so the data generated could be used in modern forensic science to approximate the time of human deaths. At that time it was simply not possibly (moral/ethical/legal concerns) to perform decompositon studies with human corpses, I know because I tried and was denied. Even so there were many instances where some concerned person buried my research pigs."
The pigs used in the experiment were dead when Jerry Payne picked them up from local farmers. Mama pigs (sows) often lay down on their tiny piglets and crush them. This was very common on small farms and led to the invention and deployment of farrowing pens(birthing pens) where the sow is contained and the piglets have a heated space where they are not in danger of being crushed.