noun, plural: consumers

An organism that generally obtains food by feeding on other organisms or organic matter due to lack of the ability to manufacture own food from inorganic sources; a heterotroph.


Any of the organisms in all trophic levels in a food chain, except for producers.

In a food chain, the levels of consumers are:

Word origin: consume » Middle English consumen, from Latin cōnsūmere, to take + -er.

Related terms: primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer.

See also: food chain, trophic level.

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