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decomposers
millipede on a log
millipede on a log
mushrooms
mushrooms
banana slug in leaves
banana slug in leaves

Decomposers, which include bugs, mushrooms, worms and bacteria, are nature's recyclers. When a tree dies, decomposers chow down on the dead bark and leaves and turn that old tree into soil, which allows new plants to grow. If trees are cut down and hauled away to make paper, decomposers are left exposed in the hot sun with very little to eat and their population often dies out as a result.


Which of the following is a decomposer?

snake
raccoon
millipede
raven

World-famous decomposer
The redwood forests of San Mateo County are home to one of the most famous decomposers... the banana slug! You can go on your very own banana slug safari in Sam McDonald Park.

See if you can put together this banana slug puzzle.

  composting

Put your old food scraps and yard trimmings into a compost pile in your backyard and watch decomposers turn it into soil for your garden.
Learn to compost

Kid's Slug

Slimy B-Slug Fact: Banana slugs are slimy for a good reason. Slime causes a predator, such as hawk, to gag on the slug, making it difficult to swallow. The slime also protects the slug's soft body as it slides over rough branches and prickly dead leaves. Slime is a good thing, if you're a slug!