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Autotrophs and Heterotrophs



Bacteria (being an autotroph) and lion (carnivorous heterotroph)

Autotrophic beings

Also known as producer beings, are those who have the ability to produce their own food.

According to the process used to manufacture the food, they can be classified into chemosynthesizers and photosynthesizers.

Chemosynthetic Autotrophs

- They are beings that use inorganic materials, carbon dioxide and water to produce organic matter. This process occurs through the oxidation of inorganic substances. Therefore, these beings do not need luminosity to produce their food.

Examples: some species of bacteria and archaebacteria.

Photosynthesis autotrophs

- They are organisms that have the ability to perform photosynthesis, transforming light energy into chemistry.

Examples: all plants and some species of algae.

Heterotrophic beings

Also known as consumer beings, are those who do not have the ability to make their own food. Therefore, they need to feed on other beings (consumers or producers).

They can be classified according to the type of food they eat. Thus there are the heterotrophs:

- Carnivores: that feed exclusively on meat. Examples: lion, tiger and jaguar.

- Herbivores: that feed exclusively on vegetables. Examples: horse, ox, goat and rabbit.

- Omnivores: who feed on animal meat as well as vegetables. Examples: human, bat, bear and meerkat.

- Hematophages: that feed on the blood of other animals. They are usually parasitic beings. Examples: mosquito, barber, tick and louse.

- Ichthiophages: feed on fish. Examples: Osprey, Martin Fisher and Sea Lion.

- Coprophages: that feed on animal feces. Examples: some species of flies and beetle.

- Ornithophages: that feed on poultry meat. Examples: Peregrine Falcon.

- Insectivores: that feed on insects. Examples: frogs, I saw you and some species of fish.

- Detritivores: that feed on organic waste of plant and animal origin. Examples: vulture, hyena and vulture.

- Plankton: feed on plankton. Examples: james flamingo and stingray.