Carrion (from Latin caro, meaning "meat") is the decaying flesh of a dead animal.

A wedge-tailed eagle and carrion (roadkill kangaroo) in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.


Carrion is an important food source for large carnivores and omnivores in most ecosystems. Examples of carrion-eaters (or scavengers) include vultures, hawks, eagles,[1] hyenas,[2] Virginia opossum,[3] Tasmanian devils,[4] coyotes[5] and Komodo dragons. Many invertebrates, such as the carrion and burying beetles,[6] as well as maggots of calliphorid flies and flesh-flies, also eat carrion, playing an important role in recycling nitrogen and carbon in animal remains.

Zoarcid fish feeding on the carrion of a mobulid ray.
Flies settle on a sheep carrion
Flies 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 fungi smell like decomposing carrion and attract insects that aid in reproduction. Plants that exhibit this behavior are known as carrion flowers. Stinkhorn mushrooms are examples of fungi with this characteristic.

A coyote feeding on elk carrion in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley during winter.

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's play Julius Caesar (III.i):[7]

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 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) include the prohibition of humans consuming carrion.[8] 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.[9]


  1. ^ Hovenden, Frank. The Carrion Eaters Archived 1 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Comox Valley Naturalists Society. 7 May 2010.
  2. ^ "San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes: Striped hyena". San Diego Zoo. 7 May 2010.
  3. ^ Len McDougall (2004). The Encyclopedia of Tracks and Scats: A Comprehensive Guide to the Trackable Animals of the United States and Canada. Globe Pequot. pp. 274–. ISBN 978-1-59228-070-4. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  4. ^ "San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes: Tasmanian Devil". San Diego Zoo. 7 May 2010.
  5. ^ Stegemann, Eileen. "Skull Science: Coyote". NYS Department of Environmental Conservation April 2006
  6. ^ John George Wood (1892). Insects abroad: Being a popular account of foreign insects; their structure, habits and transformations. Longmans. pp. 82–. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  7. ^ The Life and Death of Julies Caesar. SCENE I. Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting above.
  8. ^ talmud, hullin 92b
  9. ^ Mossad HaRav Kook edition of Gaon's commentary to Genesis.
Adolfo Carrión Jr.

Adolfo Carrión Jr. (born March 6, 1961) is an American businessman and former elected official from City Island, located in New York City, New York. He has three sisters Elizabeth Carrión-Stevens, Damaris Carrión-Harris and Lizette Carrión. He served one term as a member of the New York City Council. He served for seven years as the Borough President of the Bronx, for a year and five months as the first director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs in the Obama Administration, and then for nearly two years as Regional Administrator for HUD's New York and New Jersey Regional Office. He left HUD in February 2012.In late 2012, Carrión registered as an Independent, to begin exploring a run for Mayor of New York City, and in February 2013 he was granted the Independence Party nomination.

Bird of prey

Birds of prey, or raptors, include species of bird that primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter. Additionally, they have keen eyesight for detecting food at a distance or during flight, strong feet equipped with talons for grasping or killing prey, and powerful, curved beaks for tearing flesh. The term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapio, meaning to seize or take by force. In addition to hunting live prey, most also eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source.Although the term bird of prey could theoretically be taken to include all birds that primarily consume animals, ornithologists typically use the narrower definition followed in this page. Examples of animal-eating birds not encompassed by the ornithological definition include storks, herons, gulls, skuas, penguins, kookaburras, and shrikes, as well as the many songbirds that are primarily insectivorous.

Bustillo del Páramo de Carrión

Bustillo del Páramo de Carrión is a municipality located in the province of Palencia, Castile and León, Spain. According to the 2004 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 82 inhabitants.


The Calliphoridae (commonly known as blow flies, blow-flies, carrion flies, bluebottles, greenbottles, or cluster flies) are a family of insects in the order Diptera, with 1,200 known species. The maggot larvae, often used as fishing bait, are known as gentles. The family is known to be polyphyletic, but much remains disputed regarding proper treatment of the constituent taxa, some of which are occasionally accorded family status (e.g., Bengaliidae, Helicoboscidae, Polleniidae, and Rhiniidae).

The name blow fly comes from an older English term for meat that had eggs laid on it, which was said to be fly blown. The first known association of the term "blow" with flies appears in the plays of William Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra.

Carrion's disease

Oroya fever or Carrion's disease is an infectious disease produced by Bartonella bacilliformis infection.

It is named after Daniel Alcides Carrión.

Carrion (comics)

Carrion is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is usually depicted as an enemy of Spider-Man.

Carrion crow

The carrion crow (Corvus corone) is a passerine bird of the family Corvidae and the genus Corvus which is native to western Europe and eastern Asia.

Carrión de Calatrava

Carrión de Calatrava is a municipality in the province of Ciudad Real, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. The castle of Calatrava la Vieja is situated nearby.

Carrión de los Condes

Carrión de los Condes (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈri̯on de los ˈkondes]) is a municipality in the province of Palencia, part of the Autonomous Community of Castile and León, Spain.

It is 40 kilometers from Palencia, on the French Way of the Way of Saint James.

Carrión de los Céspedes

Carrión de los Céspedes is a city located in the province of Seville, Spain.

Eastern carrion crow

The eastern carrion crow (Corvus corone orientalis, originally a separate species C.orientalis.) is a member of the crow family and a subspecies of the carrion crow. Differences from the nominate subspecies include a larger size, at a length about 500 millimetres (20 in), and more graduated outer tail feathers. The eastern carrion crow is found in Siberia from the Yenisei to Japan, south to Central Asia, Afghanistan, Eastern Iran, Kashmir, Tibet and northern China. They generally lay three to five eggs in trees or buildings. The eggs show no difference from the nominate subspecies.

Hooded crow

The hooded crow (Corvus cornix) (also called hoodie) is a Eurasian bird species in the Corvus genus. Widely distributed, it is also known locally as Scotch crow and Danish crow. In Ireland, it is called caróg liath or grey crow, just as in the Slavic languages and in Danish. In German, it is called "mist crow" ("Nebelkrähe"). Found across Northern, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East, it is an ashy grey bird with black head, throat, wings, tail, and thigh feathers, as well as a black bill, eyes, and feet. Like other corvids, it is an omnivorous and opportunistic forager and feeder.

It is so similar in morphology and habits to the carrion crow (Corvus corone), for many years they were considered by most authorities to be geographical races of one species. Hybridization observed where their ranges overlapped added weight to this view. However, since 2002, the hooded crow has been elevated to full species status after closer observation; the hybridisation was less than expected and hybrids had decreased vigour. Within the hooded crow species, four subspecies are recognized, with one, the Mesopotamian crow, possibly distinct enough to warrant species status itself.

Jerónimo Carrión

To be distinguished from: Jerónimo de Carrión Spanish composer (1660–1721)

Jerónimo Carrión y Palacio (6 July 1804, Cariamanga – 5 May 1873) was President of Ecuador between September 7, 1865 and November 6, 1867. He also served as Vice President of Ecuador from 1858 to 1860.

He was a member of the Ecuadorian Conservative Party.

His presidency demonstrated remarkable honesty and loyalty; honesty of procedures, loyalty to the principles. But he showed a lack of energy, which was abused by the adversaries of the current regime and those who still did not forgive the vigilance and severity of the previous one. The failure of this Government in which any other era would have been a constructive government and of historical significance gave beginning in the contrast of characters between García Moreno and Jerónimo Carrión. The Minister of Government, assumed all the functions of the regime, to the extent that the whole country noticed the lack of will of the President, although it was not quite so. However, the administration was wise and developed in a climate of peace and relative tolerance.


Scavengers are animals that consume dead organisms that have died from causes other than predation. While scavenging generally refers to carnivores feeding on carrion, it is also a herbivorous feeding behavior. Scavengers play an important role in the ecosystem by consuming dead animal and plant material. Decomposers and detritivores complete this process, by consuming the remains left by scavengers.

Scavengers aid in overcoming fluctuations of food resources in the environment. The process and rate of scavenging is affected by both biotic and abiotic factors, such as carcass size, habitat, temperature, and seasons.


Silphidae is a family of beetles that are known commonly as large carrion beetles, carrion beetles or burying beetles. There are two subfamilies: Silphinae and Nicrophorinae. Nicrophorines are sometimes known as sexton beetles. The number of species is relatively small and around two hundred. They are more diverse in the temperate region although a few tropical endemics are known. Both subfamilies feed on decaying organic matter such as dead animals. The subfamilies differ in which uses parental care and which types of carcasses they prefer. Silphidae are considered to be of importance to forensic entomologists because when they are found on a decaying body they are used to help estimate a post-mortem interval.


Staphyliniformia is a large infraorder of beetles. It contains over 60,000 described species from all regions of the world. Most species occur in moist habitats - various kinds of rotting plant debris, fungi, dung, carrion, many live in fresh water.

Sánchez Carrión Province

The Sánchez Carrión Province is one of twelve provinces of the La Libertad Region in Peru. It is named in honour of José Faustino Sánchez Carrión. The capital of this province is the city of Huamachuco. About 30 miles away is Marcahuamachuco, a prehistoric political and religious centre of a culture that throve AD 350-1100.

The Register

The Register (nicknamed El Reg) is an English technology news and opinion website co-founded in 1994 by Mike Magee, John Lettice and Ross Alderson. Situation Publishing Ltd is listed as the site's publisher. Drew Cullen is an owner, Linus Birtles the managing director and Andrew Orlowski is the Executive Editor.

Velilla del Río Carrión

Velilla del Río Carrión is a municipality located in the province of Palencia, Castile and León, Spain. According to the 2004 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 1,632 inhabitants.

Here is the Velilla Power Plant, a coal-fired power station, and the Fuentes Tamáricas, cantabrian intermittent fountains.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.