Scavenger Animals: 11 Animals That Feed on Animal Stays

Scavenger animals don’t have a flowery spot within the ecosystem, and they don’t have a cute status both. Individuals have at all times thought-about scavengers like vultures and hyenas soiled, disgusting creatures.

Nevertheless, no matter it’s possible you’ll really feel about them, scavengers play an essential position in sustaining a balanced ecosystem. With out these animals, lifeless animal carcasses could be in every single place, and decomposition would happen a lot slower. You’ll be able to view scavenger animals because the cleanup crew saving the world from ailments and different risks in decaying organisms. 

Scavenger animals pace up the speed at which vitamins are returned to the surroundings. Whereas vultures and hyenas are among the many hottest, many different animals function nature’s waste disposal system. Let’s discover these 11 animals that feed on animal stays.

1. Vultures

Scavenger Animals: 11 Animals That Feed on Animal Stays
Crimson-headed vultures are discovered largely in India and typically in elements of Southeast Asia.

©faisal magnet/

Vultures are the most-recognizable scavenger animals on this planet. They’re one of many few animals that feed completely on carrion (decaying flesh of lifeless animals). They’ve many attention-grabbing organic variations that make it secure for them to eat decaying flesh.  

Vultures have wonderful eyesight, permitting them to identify lifeless animals whereas hovering within the sky. In addition they have a robust sense of scent to understand decaying flesh from afar.  

This hen’s hardened, barbed tongue makes it doable for them to choose bones clear. They’re additionally identified to have robust abdomen acid to kill off micro organism and different harmful parasites discovered on decayed flesh. Most vultures are bald (hairless), which prevents poisonous micro organism from sticking to their feathers and infecting them.

Vultures haven’t any different alternative however to scavenge. In contrast to different flesh-eating birds that hunt, vultures have weak nails and beaks, making it not possible for them to actively hunt for prey. 

2. Striped Hyenas

The striped hyenas are small hyenas with a dog-like look. They’ve lengthy, black, pointed ears, which provides them wonderful listening to expertise. Their brownish-gray fur with black stripes is the right camouflage permitting them to mix in with the tall grass. Nevertheless, they solely perform a little looking themselves, preferring to scavenge for stays.

Striped hyenas are scavengers that feast on the carcasses of huge animals. They’ve robust jaws to chew bones, horns, and even hooves. Like different vultures, their digestive system can kill micro organism within the carrion.

Beforehand believed to be solitary animals, current analysis has proven that this species of hyena has a fancy social construction. They kind small teams of as much as seven animals in areas with enough meals and water.

3. Ravens

common raven ready for flight
Ravens pair collectively to make the looking course of extra environment friendly.


These birds have a various weight loss plan that’s not restricted to carrion. Nevertheless, they’re positively drawn to lifeless meat and are sometimes discovered feeding on it. Ravens are scavenger animals usually seen within the firm of vultures, magpies, and eagles. Though they feed on lifeless animals, ravens can even hunt small animals like rats, lizards, snakes, and even bugs for meals. 

These birds are thought-about to be among the many smartest animals on this planet. Up to now, they had been identified to observe armies into battles, realizing they’d have an “all-you-can-eat buffet” after the battle. Most cultures see the raven as a foul omen — an emblem of demise!

4. Jackals 

Jackals are members of the canine household present in Africa and Asia. They’re very intently associated to coyotes. Like coyotes, jackals are medium-sized canines that dwell in packs. The principle distinction between each animals is their measurement; coyotes are a lot larger.

So far as their weight loss plan goes, jackals are largely thought-about opportunistic omnivores. This implies they are going to eat any out there meals, together with lifeless animals left behind by different energetic predators. The African jackals scavenge greater than different jackal species, and that’s primarily as a result of they dwell alongside high predators like lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas. They’ll hunt small animals on their very own too, and in periods of shortage, jackals will kind looking bands to take out bigger prey. 

5. Crabs

Like vultures on land, crabs are the cleanup workforce of the ocean. Crab feeding habits are inclined to differ from one species to the opposite. Nevertheless, most are backside feeders dwelling in underwater grasses on the ocean flooring. This supplies hiding spot from predators. Additionally, since meals particles finally decide on the ocean flooring, it’s the right place for crabs to dwell and scavenge for meals. 

The crab’s weight loss plan usually contains something it could discover, together with lifeless fish, clams, mussels, oysters, and the stays of crops. They might be cannibalistic, too, feeding on smaller crabs.

6. Bears

Bears are massive land mammals discovered throughout varied habitats in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. There are eight forms of bears, and feeding habits are inclined to differ from one species to the opposite. Most bears are omnivores that means they feed on each plant and animal matter. Their feeding behavior additionally is determined by the provision of meals of their areas. 

Bears eat something that comes their method. Though they’re massive sufficient to make their very own kills, bears favor to make use of their measurement to scare off and steal meals from different creatures. They’ve an elongated digestive tract that may deal with the digestion of carrion successfully. 

7. Eagles 

bald eagle perched on column
Bald eagles are massive flying birds and fierce predators.


Eagles are identified to be voracious apex predators that hunt for themselves. Nevertheless, they will additionally feast on carcasses, identical to the vulture. Their eager eyesight, robust talons, and big wings give them an intimidating look. Due to this, they will simply ship different animals away from their kill to allow them to feed on the carcass.

Eagles are identified to collect round wolf kills and might also scavenge leftover fish killed by the bears. Eagles are additionally identified to eat the younger of different birds and exhibit different opportunistic feeding habits. 

8. Sharks

There are about 500 species of sharks. Their measurement varies from dwarf lantern shark, about 0.39 inches lengthy, to the whale shark, which may develop as much as 60 toes lengthy. Though sharks are largely apex predators that actively hunt fish, seals, octopuses, and different marine animals, they don’t at all times need to eat dwell prey. 

Sharks are scavenger animals too. They’ll feed on lifeless fish and mammals within the water. Just about any meat they will discover within the ocean goes. Sharks have additionally been identified to eat ocean trash. They’re notably interested in metallic and eat metallic trash dumped within the ocean. Specialists assume this may need one thing to do with the electromagnetic nature of metallic. 

9. Lobsters                                  

Like their cousins — the crabs — lobsters additionally clear up the ocean by feasting on detritus. Lobsters haven’t any boundaries in relation to meals. They feed on something they will discover within the water, dwelling or lifeless. 

Lobsters are opportunistic omnivores, permitting them to operate as scavengers within the ocean. They largely feed on dwelling algae, worms, small fish, and different crustaceans within the water. However they will additionally feed on dying and lifeless animals on the ocean flooring. 

10. Millipedes 

Millipedes are arthropods. They’re identified for his or her lengthy slender our bodies with numerous small, tiny legs (nicknamed thousand-leggers). They shed their pores and skin severally as they develop, and after every molting stage, they eat their cast-off skins. This is only one of many scavenging habits exhibited by this critter. 

Most millipedes are scavengers. They like to dwell outside with enough moisture, equivalent to below mulch, lifeless leaves, or grass clippings. They feed on decomposing leaves, plant materials, and decaying wooden particles. Millipedes might also feed on dwelling crops of their habitat. However this solely occurs when meals is scarce. 

11. Foxes 

fox laying in the leaves
Foxes have distinctive listening to that permits them to simply hunt their prey.

©RT Pictures/

Consuming each animals and crops, Foxes are omnivores. These expert canine hunters hunt small animals like rabbits, birds, and frogs and eat fruits like berries. They’re additionally scavengers, consuming the leftovers of different predators. They’ve been identified to chase off massive predators from a kill and feast on their meal. 

These canine hunters eat something and every part they will discover. They’re opportunistic animals with a really numerous weight loss plan. They use their energetic sense of scent to find carcasses and likewise kind looking teams. 


Aside from the animals talked about above, many different animals are scavengers within the wild. Animals like crocodiles, bottle flies, spiders, slugs, condors, prawns, eels, alligators, and piranhas are additionally scavengers that assist the ecosystem do away with lifeless animals and crops.

They might not be as fashionable because the scavenger animals on this checklist, however additionally they play an essential position in sustaining the steadiness of the ecosystem. 

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