What is a definition of "food" for a heterotroph and a autotroph?please help thanks

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ako6777's profile pic

ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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A heterotroph is an organism that uses carbon for growth. That is their primary food source. They obtain their carbon from other heterotrophs and autotrophs. "Heterotrophs are consumers in the food chain." Some examples of heterotrophs are animals,fungi, and bacteria. There are two types of heterotrophs:

  1. Photoheterotroph-"obtains energy from light but needs organic carbon for growth"
  2. Chemoheterotroph-"needs organic carbon for growth and an energy source"

Autotrophs are organisms that "produces complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules using energy from light or inorganic chemical reactions." They can produce their own food.  "Autotrophs are producers in the food chain."  Some examples of Autotrophs are plants and algae.

So food for a heterotroph are plants and algae (autotrophs).  Food for an Autotroph are sunlight and inorganic chemicals.

atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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 a heterotroph - eats other organisms for energy. For example- humans

a autotroph - makes their own food. For example: plants

Wiggin42's profile pic

Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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A heterotroph is defined as an organism that must feed on another organism for survival. An autotroph is defined as an organism that can produce its own food. For example, plans are photosynthetic organisms that can convert water, sun light, and carbon dioxide into useable food. There are also chemosynthetic bacteria that can do the same thing but with nutrient rich hot water on the deep ocean floor.

elingener's profile pic

elingener | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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If you just need to know "food," autotrophs can produce their own food from sources such as the sun (like plants). Auto- means self. Heterotrophs use other sources to obtain their energy (for example, we must eat another organism, plant or animal, for energy.

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