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Carrion (from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
''caro'', meaning "meat") is the decaying flesh of dead animals, including human flesh.


Overview

Carrion is an important food source for large
carnivore A carnivore , meaning "meat eater" (Latin, ''caro'', genitive ''carnis'', meaning "meat" or "flesh" and ''vorare'' meaning "to devour"), is an organism, animal whose food and energy requirements derive solely from animal Tissue (biology), tissue ...
s and
omnivore An omnivore () is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular ...
s in most ecosystems. Examples of carrion-eaters (or
scavenger Scavengers are animals that consume dead organisms that have died from causes other than predation Predation is a biological interaction where one organism, the predator, kills and eats another organism, its prey. It is one of a family of ...
s) include
crow A crow is a bird of the genus ''Corvus'', or more broadly a synonym for all of ''Corvus''. The word "crow" is used as part of the common name of species including: * ''Corvus albus'' – pied crow (Central African coasts to southern Africa) * ''Cor ...
s,
vulture A vulture is a bird of prey that scavenges on carrion. The Old World vultures include 15 living species native to Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (no ...

vulture
s,
condor Condor is the common name for two species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest ...
s,
hawk Hawks are a group of medium-sized diurnal birds of prey of the family Accipitridae. Hawks are widely distributed and vary greatly in size. * The subfamily In biological classification, a subfamily (Latin: ', plural ') is an auxiliary (in ...

hawk
s,
eagle Eagle is the common name for many large Bird of prey, birds of prey of the family Accipitridae. Eagles belong to several groups of Genus, genera, some of which are closely related. Most of the 60 species of eagle are from Eurasia and Africa. Out ...
s,
hyena Hyenas, or hyaenas (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following ...

hyena
s, Virginia opossum,
Tasmanian devil The Tasmanian devil (''Sarcophilus harrisii'') is a carnivorous marsupial Marsupials are any members of the mammalian Class (biology), infraclass Marsupialia. All extant marsupials are endemic to Australasia, Wallacea and the Americas. A ...
s,
coyote The coyote (''Canis latrans'') is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the lar ...

coyote
s and
Komodo dragon The Komodo dragon (''Varanus komodoensis''), also known as the Komodo monitor, is a member of the monitor lizard family Varanidae that is endemic to the Indonesian islands of Komodo (island), Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. It it is ...

Komodo dragon
s. Many invertebrates, such as the carrion and burying beetles, as well as
maggot A maggot is the larva A larva (plural larvae ) is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect developmental biology, development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically ...

maggot
s of calliphorid flies (such as one of the most important species in ''
Calliphora vomitoria ''Calliphora vomitoria'', known as the blue bottle fly, orange-bearded blue bottle, or bottlebee is a species of blow fly, a species in the family Calliphoridae. ''Calliphora vomitoria'' is the type species of the genus Genus (plural gener ...
'') and flesh-flies, also eat carrion, playing an important role in recycling nitrogen and carbon in animal remains.
Flies settling on a
_carrion.html" ;"title="sheep
Flies</a> settling on a sheep
carrion">sheep
Flies</a> settling on a sheep
carrion Carrion begins to decay at the moment of the animal's death, and it will increasingly attract insects and breed bacteria. Not long after the animal has died, its body will begin to exude a foul odor caused by the presence of bacteria and the emission of cadaverine and putrescine. Some plants and fungus, fungi smell like Decomposition, decomposing carrion and attract insects that aid in reproduction. Plants that exhibit this behavior are known as
carrion flower'' in Wilhelma Botanical and Zoological Gardens, Stuttgart of the Old Castle (Stuttgart), Old Castle Stuttgart (; Swabian German, Swabian: ; ) is the capital city, capital and list of cities in Germany, largest city of the Germany, German ...
s. Stinkhorn mushrooms are examples of fungi with this characteristic. Sometimes carrion is used to describe an infected carcass that is diseased and should not be touched. An example of carrion being used to describe dead and rotting bodies in literature may be found in
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and one of the world's greatest dramatists. He is often called England' ...

William Shakespeare
's play ''
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of anc ...
'' (III.i):
Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war; That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Another example can be found in Daniel Defoe's ''
Robinson Crusoe ''Robinson Crusoe'' () is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work's protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a Travel ...
'' when the title character kills an unknown bird for food but finds "its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing".


In Noahide law

The thirty-count laws of
Ulla (Talmudist) Ulla or 'Ulla was a Jewish Talmudist and one of the leading halakha, Halakhic amoraim in the Land of Israel during the late 3rd and early 4th centuries CE (the second and third amoraic generations). Biography In his youth he studied under R. Eleaza ...
include the prohibition of humans consuming carrion. This count is in addition to the standard seven law count and has been recently published from the Judeo-Arabic writing of Shmuel ben Hophni Gaon after having been lost for centuries.
Mossad HaRav Kook Mossad HaRav Kook ( he, מוסד הרב קוק, "Rabbi Kook Institute") is a religious research foundation and publishing house based in Jerusalem. Mossad Harav Kook is named after Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi Jews, Ashkenazi chief rabbi ...
edition of Gaon's commentary to Genesis.


References

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