dead? or maybe just pretend dead?
After death an organism's remains become part of the biogeochemical cycle. Animals may be consumed by a predator or scavenger. Organic material may then be further decomposed by detritivores, organisms which recycle detritus, returning it to the environment for reuse in the food chain. Examples include earthworms, woodlice and dung beetles. Microorganisms also play a vital role, raising the temperature of the decomposing material as they break it down into simpler molecules. Not all material need be decomposed fully however; for example coal is a fossil fuel formed in swamp ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation.