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 ...
''caro'', meaning "meat") is the decaying flesh of dead animals, including human flesh.
Carrion is an important food source for large
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
s, Virginia opossum
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
s. Many invertebrates, such as the carrion and burying beetle
s, as well as
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 ...
s of calliphorid flies
(such as one of the most important species in ''
''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.