Corpse-eating deer photographed eating human remains

Corpse-eating deer photographed eating human remains
Scientists spotted one gnawing on the carcass for the first time (Lauren Meckel / Texas State University)

A corpse-eating deer has been photographed eating human remains, in a breakthrough discovery for science.

The deer was captured by motion-sensitive camera at a "body farm" in Texas, where forensic experts study the decomposition of human bodies in nature.

While researchers at Texas State University's Forensic Anthropology Research Facility have seen numerous decaying people, this is "the first known photographic evidence of deer gnawing human remains," they say.

Their study was published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, and details the deer feasting on the body.

The hungry deer was spotted "holding the bone in its mouth like a cigar" on two occasions.

Previous research has shown deer sometimes scavenge animal bones for their mineral content.

Scientists say the new deer findings will help with analysing old bones during death investigations.