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Dead refers to the present form (This animal is dead)
Died reasons with the past present (This animal died a natural death)
whether the animal died a week ago, you noticed it in the present time
there are many definitions to this though
Answered 11 years ago
Remember that don't mix dead with died.
"dead" is an adjective, it describes a state of being no longer a live.
Ex: This animal is dead.
"died" is past form of "die", a verb, and it describe an action of an event.
Ex: This animal died 2 days ago.