Q:

What is an example of a heterotroph?

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Quick Answer

A heterotroph is any organism, including carnivores, omnivores and herbivores, that cannot produce its own food through solar energy and must feed off another life form. In the food chain, heterotrophs represent the consumers. The autotrophs, such as plants and algae, are called the producers of the food chain because of their ability to produce their food with no need to consume another organism.

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Full Answer

All animals, including humans, are classified as heterotrophs because they consume other animals, plants or both in order to obtain the organic substances needed to sustain life. Fungi and some species of bacteria are also heterotrophs. Herbivores are considered the primary consumers in the food chain because they obtain their food directly from the autotrophs of the plant world. Heterotrophs represent about 95 percent of all living organisms.

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Related Questions

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    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.

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    What do mollusks eat?

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    Mollusks are classified as herbivores, omnivores and carnivores, and their diets depend largely on the species and availability of food in a particular location. Some mollusks consume only algae and ocean plant matter, while others may eat shellfish and even small fish.

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    Where can I find a list of omnivorous animals?

    A:

    The website for the St. John Fisher College has a webpage dedicated to lists of omnivores and omnivore food sources. Omnivores are animals that consume both plants and animals.

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    How does natural vegetation affect wildlife?

    A:

    The natural vegetation in an area provides a food source to omnivores and herbivores; if the natural vegetation is altered, species numbers can decline or the species may die out. When animals do not have enough food, they may try to move to other areas, impacting the ecosystem in that area as well.

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