Every year, over a million wildebeest make their way across the Serengeti in the largest remaining land migration. New research shows the thousands of wildebeest that drown crossing the Mara River in the process are an important source of nutrients for the entire Serengeti Mara ecosystem.
What they found: Wildebeest carcasses take about 28 days to decompose, and as they did they were integrated into the food chain at every level, from scavenging birds to fish to bacteria. Crocodiles, possibly because of their slow metabolism, only ate about 2% of the carcasses. After the meat was consumed, the bones leached nutrients downstream.