Q:

How long does it take for rigor mortis to set in?

A:

Quick Answer

About.com Chemistry states that rigor mortis can take anywhere between 10 minutes to several hours to set in. Rigor mortis is the time after death when a body begins to stiffen, and the joints lock into place.

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How long does it take for rigor mortis to set in?
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Full Answer

About.com Chemistry notes that the time it takes for the onset of rigor mortis to occur depends on the environmental conditions at the time of death, as this affects the temperature of the body. About.com explains that colder temperatures speed up the rigor mortis process. The face is usually the first to set, followed by the body.

Rigor mortis typically lasts up to 72 hours, according to About.com. Afterwards, the joints unlock, and the muscles once again start to relax as a result of the body decaying.

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Related Questions

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    How long does rigor mortis last in cats?

    A:

    Rigor mortis in cats lasts about 12 hours on average. The onset of this process typically begins within 3 to 4 hours after the death of the cat and is dependent upon numerous variables.

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  • Q:

    Why does rigor mortis occur?

    A:

    Rigor mortis occurs because, after death, the muscles of the body partially contract, but they are unable to return to their relaxed state. About.com further explains that this causes the muscles to become fixed in place for around 72 hours.

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    What causes rigor mortis in animals?

    A:

    According to the Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, two to eight hours after death, the body stops producing adenosine triphosphate and muscles begin to stiffen. This occurs in part because oxygen no longer circulates. Other post-mortem biochemical changes also cause abnormal contraction of the muscles because the body is unable to remove the by-product lactose from the muscles to prevent them from stiffening.

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    Approximately how long does it take for each drink consumed to leave your body?

    A:

    On average it takes about 30 minutes for blood alcohol level to peak after consumption of one drink on an empty stomach, explains the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a council of the National Institutes of Health. Blood alcohol levels approach zero about 2 hours after consumption of that drink. An average 150-pound individual eliminates about 0.5 ounces of ethanol from the body per hour.

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