Heterotrophs are organisms that obtain energy by feeding off of other organisms, because they are unable to make their own food. They are also called consumers.Continue Reading
All living organisms require nutrients and energy to survive and can obtain these in two broad ways. Organisms that can produce their own nutrients are called autotrophs, while the organisms that cannot produce their own food are called heterotrophs. Autotrophs include plants, bacteria and fungi. Most of the autotrophs produce carbohydrate nutrients through a process known as photosynthesis.
Heterotrophs include all types of organisms, such as animals, fungi, bacteria and protists. There are four types of heterotrophs, classified based on their source of food. Herbivores consume only plants and are called primary consumers, since they directly obtain nutrients from the autotrophs. Carnivores consume other animals, including herbivores, thereby getting the nutrients indirectly from the autotrophs. Carnivores are called secondary consumers if they eat herbivores and tertiary consumers if they eat other carnivorous organisms.
Omnivores consume both plants and animals and can be considered as primary, secondary and tertiary consumers, depending on their diet. For example, humans not only consume plants in the form of vegetables and fruits, but also meat from various sources. Detritivores are heterotrophs that consume dead organic matter and can include bacteria, fungi, insects and worms.Learn more about Biology
Fungi are heterotrophs, meaning that they fulfill their needs for carbon and energy by breaking down and assimilating organic matter. Fungi are capable of absorbing and metabolizing a wide variety of carbohydrates, including glucose, xylose and fructose. More difficult carbohydrates are also easily digested, such as cellulose and hemicellulose.Full Answer >
The energy used by all living organisms on earth can be traced back to the sun. The sun produces heat and light energy which helps in maintaining temperatures on earth and creates daylight. Plants, which are sometimes referred to as producers, use light energy in a process called photosynthesis to create nutrients or energy.Full Answer >
Consumers are organisms that receive all their energy by consuming other types of organisms or organic matter. Generally consumers prey on other organisms because they do not have the ability to produce their own energy or to obtain energy through inorganic sources.Full Answer >
Producers are organisms that make their own energy. Plants are producers because they make their own food using light, carbon dioxide and water through photosynthesis.Full Answer >