What is the difference between algor mortis, livor mortis and rigor mortis?
All three terms describe changes that occur in the body after death and the extent of their development may be helpful in estimating the time of death. Algor mortis refers to change in body temperature after the heart stops pumping and cellular oxidation, which keeps our body temperatures at 98.6¡ F, stops; the body temperature falls to room temperature (about 70¡ F) at about 1.5¡ F per hour. Livor mortis refers to the maroon color that develops after the heart stops and no longer churns the blood; heavier red blood cells settle downward from the serum by gravity as occurs in the plastic container when giving blood. Rigor mortis refers to the hardening of muscle cells that begins shortly after death and causes board-like stiffness in about 12 hours, lasts about 12 hours and then disappears in about 12 hours. I am thirteen years old and read that you said that you cannot determine if someone died peacefully in their sleep because “all of the muscles relax when one dies.” However when I