scavenger (SKA-vehn-jur) noun. organism that eats dead or rotting biomass, such as animal flesh or plant material.
A scavenger is an organism that mostly consumes decaying biomass, such as meat or rotting plant material. Many scavengers are a type of carnivore, which is an organism that eats meat. While most carnivores hunt and kill their prey, scavengers usually consume animals that have either died of natural causes or been killed by another carnivore.
Scavengers play an important role the food web. They keep an ecosystem free of the bodies of dead animals, or carrion. Scavengers break down this organic material and recycle it into the ecosystem as nutrients.
Can you find scavengers, carnivores, herbivores near where you live? How about the things they eat?
Share your photos and contribute to a biodiversity database.