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A decomposer means an organism that breaks down large molecules from dead organisms into small molecules and returns important materials to the environment. Sooner or later, all living things die. When a plant or an animal dies, its body begins to break down into small pieces. Special living things called decomposers break down the body. A decomposer makes dead things into chemicals and then the chemicals go into the air, ground or water and is used again.
Examples of decomposers
Some types of decomposers are Bacteria and Fungi. Others are worms, and mushrooms. The worms live in the ground. They eat their way through bits of dead plants and animals. Some mushrooms and fungi grow out of dead plants and animals to help break them down. But most decomposers are too small for us to see. They are all around us in the air and in the ground.
- Focus on Science. Austin, Texas: Harcourt Achieve. 2004. pp. 62.