What Role Do Scavengers Play In The Environment?

by OBDK on October 26, 2022
Vultures are scavengers – but so are many other animals, like hyenas, seagulls, raccoons, crabs, and great white sharks.1, 2, & 3 These animals play a significant role in their environments. 
Carcasses of animals left out in the environment can be a risk for disease spreading. Scavengers help clean them up promptly to stop disease from spreading. They break everything down and turn it into nutrients.1
These animals usually aren’t picky about what they eat. This trait helps them live, survive, and thrive in areas that other animals couldn’t. It makes them highly adaptable to a variety of environments.1
For example: 
  • Seagulls and raccoons will often go after human garbage.1
  • Carrion beetles will consume decomposing matter.2
  • Crabs will eat bits of carrion they come across.3
  • Eels go after dead fish.3
  • Great white sharks will happily eat dead whales or sea lions.3
While this may seem unappetizing to humans, it’s actually very important that these animals have adapted to eat what they do. They keep our environment clean! 
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  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/scavenger/
  2. https://www.britannica.com/science/scavenger
  3. https://sciencing.com/definition-tertiary-consumer-6706431.html