Termites and dermestid beetles are thought to be the culprits for mild to extensive pitting found on the spongy ends of some dinosaur long bones. These animals come in at the very end of the scavenging process after most of the nutrient matter from meat and flesh has been stripped from a carcass. Termites have been found gnawing away on elephant and human bones in Africa in modern times as well (here’s a scholarly source if you like those sorts of things).
Prompt: Bone-Eating Insects
You’re a xenobiologist on another planet. You are asked to help settle a cultural dispute by determining whether the ancestral remains of an alien race have been mutilated by a recent reintroduction of a bone-scavenging, insect-like pest or if the remains have been scavenged multiple times over thousands of years as a result of natural surges in a very different insect-like population–or perhaps the scavenging happened anciently and that insect-like pest species died out thousands of years ago. Think about how you would experiment and/or collect evidence to solve this puzzle and figure out who, if anyone, is to blame. Bonus points of you’ve been kidnapped on suspicion of negligently or superstitiously introducing this new pest-species and you have to solve the dispute before the next heavy rain or your significant other will be sacrificed to the insect-pest gods to appease them for your unholy trespass. Make haste!