noun, plural: heterotrophs
Heterotrophs are the consumers in the food chain, particularly the herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. All animals, some fungi and most bacteria are heterotrophs. They are not capable of producing their own food. Therefore, they obtain their energy requirements by feeding on organic matter or another organism.
An organism is heterotroph if it obtains its carbon from organic compounds. If it obtains nitrogen from organic compounds but not energy, it is still considered an autotroph (such as carnivorous plants).
Word origin: G. héteros: the other of two, other, different + G. trophos: feeder.
Related forms: heterotrophic (adjective), heterotrophically (adverb), heterotrophy (noun).