What Are Consumers That Feed on the Bodies of Dead Organisms Called?

Consumers that feed on the bodies of dead organisms are called scavengers. Many scavengers are also carnivores, or flesh eaters, according to National Geographic. What sets them apart from most carnivores is that they do not kill prey.

Scavengers typically eat the bodies of animals that are already dead. Other consumers classified as scavengers eat dead and decaying plants. Scavengers serve an important purpose in the environment, by ridding it of the bodies of dead organisms and recycling this material back into the environment in the form of nutrients. While some animals, such as vultures, are predominantly or exclusively scavengers, other carnivores are scavengers when they have the opportunity but also kill prey or eat other substances as well.