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Scavengers and Decomposers

This is the part of the food web that most people don't like to think about. What happens to an organism after it dies? While that may seem to be a sad thought, it is a very important part of the web of energy and nutrients that connect all living things.

Scavengers and Decomposers are the clean-up crew of the food web. They get their energy by eating dead plants and animals, and the energy continues to flow through the food web as they are eaten by other organisms.


Scavengers are organisms that eat dead animals. That means that they are actually Secondary Consumers. Many scavengers are omnivores who eat plants and animals. That lets them fit in as Primary and Secondary Consumers.


These organisms break down the toughest parts of living things. They get the energy out of wood, bones, and other bits of living things where the energy is stored in forms that most living things can't use.