Q:

What do bacteria eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Bacteria feed on materials as varied as soybean oil, sugar, starch, sulfur, amino acids, iron, milk, meat and even wood compounds. Some types of bacteria are photosynthetic, making their own food from sunlight. Others absorb nutrition from the surface where they live.

Know More
What do bacteria eat?
Credit: NIAID CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Bacteria exist as a single cell and there are thousands of species. The diet of bacteria is generally determined by their metabolic category. The categories are broad but loosely fall into one of three groups: lithotrophs, organotrophs or phototrophs. Lithotrophic bacteria consume inorganic material, while organotrophic bacteria get their energy from organic compounds. The process of bacteria breaking down food to get energy is called respiration. Phototrophic bacteria get their energy directly from the sun. Some bacteria feed on decaying matter and help break down environmental waste. Others get their food by breaking down chemicals in their surrounding environments. Some even consume harmful products such as oil, arsenic and nuclear waste. Bacteria do not consume food through chewing or swallowing in a mouth the way that other living organisms consume food. Instead, they absorb nutrients through channels in the walls of membranes and cells. Bacteria can feed alone or in groups that cluster together, forming chains, squares or various pairs.

Learn more about Zoology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which kingdom contains prokaryotic organisms?

    A:

    Prokaryotic organisms belong to the kingdom Monera, which contains bacteria. The main classes of bacteria are eubacteria and archaebacteria. These prokaryotic organisms are unicellular and can live in different environments.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do rhinoceroses eat?

    A:

    Rhinoceroses eat as many as 220 different species of grasses, herbs and woody plants as part of their regular diet. Black rhinos eat mostly trees and bushes, while white rhinos graze on grasses lower to the ground.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who do antelope eat?

    A:

    Antelope eat grass and other types of vegetation. They live in parts of Asia, Africa and the Americas in wooded areas.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do centipedes eat?

    A:

    All centipedes are predators, generally feeding on other invertebrates such as insects and spiders, although larger species will feed on small vertebrates such as lizards. They hunt using the legs on their first body segment, which are modified into poisonous fangs. There are a large number of centipede species, which are generally small, but some species reach up to 10 inches in length.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore