May
11
2007

Buzzards block body farm

Buzzard brohaha: The potential of buzzards being a danger to air traffic stopped a planned body farm from being developed near the San Marcos airport this week. (Photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Buzzard brohaha: The potential of buzzards being a danger to air traffic stopped a planned body farm from being developed near the San Marcos airport this week. (Photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
This is a story that only Dr. Hannibal Lecter could love.

Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, has had to scuttle its plans to develop a “body farm” near the San Marcos Airport.

What’s a body farm, you ask? It’s a place where scientists bury cadavers as a way to do forensic research on how bodies decompose. And the plans for the body farm had to be scrapped out of fears that it might attract buzzards that could be a danger to planes landing at the airport.

Two other universities in the United States currently have body farms: the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and also Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.

The idea behind the farms is to find out specific information on how bodies decompose which would give better data to law enforcement and coroners in being able to determine who and when bodies died.

Texas State is starting the search for another site for the body farm after meeting with airport officials who raised concerns about buzzards raiding the farm. The fear was that the vultures would hover around the farm, creating a hazard to planes approaching the airport.

Where do you think a good spot would be a for a body farm? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The science mueseum has all the cool info!!

posted on Sun, 05/13/2007 - 10:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is cool

posted on Mon, 05/14/2007 - 9:40am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think they should have one in california...

posted on Thu, 09/20/2007 - 2:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Wouldn't they want to have one in the north where it gets cold and the ground freezes?
They would get a different decomposed body than whats in the south.

posted on Thu, 09/20/2007 - 3:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think a good place for a body farm would be north of Nyland, California. It is desert (BLM) land. There is no population to speak of. The land is not used for agriculture. There is a military training site that would almost surround it, It would be a perfect place.

posted on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 9:06am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'd like to be one of the frist to know where it will be in Texas. I have a brother in law who talked of giving his body to it if there is one in Texas..

posted on Fri, 02/01/2008 - 9:47pm

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