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only the bones remained

And at the end, there weren't many of those.

One of the things we talk about in biology class is the importance of decomposers. Most students think in terms of bacteria when this topic's raised, & maybe things like fungi. But there is more to the breakdown of a body than those microorganisms. 

Think worms, for example. In his final bookA, Charles Darwin highlighted the significant role played by earthworms in breaking down 'vegetable matter' (eg leaves) to produce what he called 'vegetable mould'. 

And of course there are ants. While we may think of them as those irritating little critters that overrun the kitchen if they find a food source, & produce anthillsB of sand in the cracks in paving, they also act as what could be called macro-decomposers. As this video demonstrates: 

A  "The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms"

B Those with small children (&/or a fondness for kinetic sand!) might enjoy this blog post about ants, kinetic sand, & learning opportunities :)

 

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