Q:

What is an organism that cannot make its own food called?

A:

Quick Answer

An organism that cannot make its own food is called a heterotroph. All animals and species of fungi, along with some types of bacteria, are heterotrophs.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Decomposers, consumers and detritivores are all examples of heterotrophs. Decomposers get needed nutrients by breaking down decaying animals and plants or the waste products of other organisms. Some types of fungi and bacteria are classified as decomposers.

Consumers survive by eating other living things. Humans are consumers because they eat plants and animals. Detritivores feed on dead organisms and decaying matter, and what they leave behind is eaten by decomposers. Vultures feed on dead animals, so they are classified as detritivores. All three types of heterotrophs are important to their ecosystems.

Heterotrophs also rely on autotrophs for their survival. Autotrophs are organisms that have the ability to produce their own food. Some autotrophs use the energy generated by chemical reactions to produce food, while others use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen.

If there were no autotrophs, many organisms would cease to exist. Herbivores, which are plant-eating organisms, would not have any food. Omnivores eat plants as well as animals, so there would be less available to them. Some decomposers feed on decaying plant matter. Without plants, there would not be as much food available to these organisms.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What type of organism makes its own food?

    A:

    An autotroph is an organism that makes its own food. An autotroph produces its own food via converting simple inorganic molecules into complex organic compounds. These complex organic compounds include proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do organisms need for survival?

    A:

    To survive, an organism needs a habitat that features somewhere to attract mates and find resources, has food, and protects it from the weather and extreme temperatures. The specifics of what an organism needs to survive varies between species, and many must adapt to environments to thrive.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are protists important to humans?

    A:

    Various protist species are important to humans because they are the primary producers at the base of the food pyramid, turning the energy from the sun into a form that can be passed from organism to organism up the food pyramid. Protists also stabilize the ion levels of water, which allows seaweed and fish, both of which are important food sources for humans, to thrive.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a second level consumer?

    A:

    In a food chain, a second-level consumer is an organism that eats a first-level or primary-level consumer. For example, in a grassland biome, a snake is a second-level consumer that eats a primary-level consumer such as a rabbit. While a second-level consumer is a carnivorous or omnivorous animal, a first-level consumer is an herbivore.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore