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.