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WBIR-TVUT’s Forensic Anthropology Center has been studying the human body and how it decays for decades. A recent discovery could have an immediate impact on court cases across the globe, as reported by WBIR.

Dawnie Steadman, director of the center, was recently interviewed during WBIR’s Live at Five at Four segment.

Steadman explains that for many decades, forensic experts who don’t have access to facilities similar to the “body farm” have used animals, specifically rabbits and pigs, to study decomposition and applied the findings to humans to estimate time of death. This study tested the assumption that human bodies and animal bodies decayed the same.

“What we found is that the pigs and rabbit s in particular are really not good substitutes for humans in forensic casework, and that humans are much more variable in how they decompose,” said Steadman.

Watch her complete interview on WBIR‘s website.