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Maggots cause most of the body’s decomposition because the maggot will do the majority of the eating. Maggots have powerful proteolytic enzymes that aid the dissolution of tissues and facilitate penetration. The maggots are voracious and energetic, first exploring the natural passages, such as mouth and nostrils, then burrowing into the tissues. They secrete digestive fluids with proteolytic enzymes that help soften the tissues, burrowing beneath the skin, and making tunnels and sinuses that hasten putrefaction by admitting air and access to external micro-organisms. Successive waves of eggs are laid, producing new generations of maggots. Eventually, loss of tissue and drying makes the host cadaver unattractive to egg-laying insects, and the later stages of decomposition become free from maggots.

Fig.1 Masses of maggots concentrated around eyes, mouth, and neck.

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