BiologyNutrition in AnimalsHeterotrophic Nutrition

Heterotrophic Nutrition

Table of Contents

  • Heterotrophic Nutrition
  • Heterotrophic Organisms
    • Types of Heterotrophic Organisms
  • Types of Heterotrophic Nutrition
    • Saprophytic Nutrition
    • Holozoic Nutrition
    • Parasitic Nutrition
  • Summary
  • What’s Next?

In the previous segment, we learnt about Nutrition and its types. In this segment, we will study the concept of heterotrophic nutrition.

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    What is Heterotrophic nutrition?

    Heterotrophic nutrition is a process by which an organism obtains organic nutrients from other living or once-living organisms. This process contrasts with autotrophic nutrition, in which an organism produces its own organic nutrients from inorganic materials. Heterotrophic organisms can be divided into two categories: parasites and scavengers. Parasites feed on live hosts, while scavengers feed on dead or decaying organisms.

    What are Heterotrophic organisms?

    The organisms that cannot produce their own food are called Heterotrophic organisms.

    What are the different types of heterotrophic organisms?

    There are two major types of heterotrophic organisms based on their food source:

    • Herbivores – The organisms that eat and derive all their nutrition from plants are called herbivores.
    • Carnivores – The organisms that eat other animals for their nutrition are called carnivores.

    What are the Different types of heterotrophic nutrition?

    There are six types of heterotrophic nutrition:

    saprophytic, parasitic, mutualistic, commensalistic, amensalistic, and necrotrophic.

    1. Saprophytic heterotrophic nutrition is the process of breaking down organic matter into simple molecules for use as food. This type of heterotrophic nutrition is found in bacteria and fungi.
    2. Parasitic heterotrophic nutrition is the process of obtaining nutrients from another organism, often to the detriment of the host. This type of heterotrophic nutrition is found in parasites such as tapeworms and hookworms.
    3. Mutualistic heterotrophic nutrition is the process of both organisms benefiting from the interaction. This type of heterotrophic nutrition is found in lichens, which are a combination of a fungus and an alga.
    4. Commensalistic heterotrophic nutrition is the process of one organism benefiting and the other organism being unaffected. This type of heterotrophic nutrition is found in many relationships between different species of bacteria.
    5. Amensalistic heterotrophic nutrition is the process of one organism being harmed and the other being unaffected. This type of heterotrophic nutrition is found in many relationships between different species of bacteria.
    6. Necrotrophic heterotrophic nutrition is the process of feeding on dead or decaying organic matter. This type of heterotrophic nutrition is found in many fungi and bacteria.

    What is Saprophytic nutrition?

    A saprophyte is an organism that lives in and derives energy from dead or decaying organic matter. Saprophytic nutrition is the process by which a saprophyte obtains nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter. This process involves the saprophyte breaking down complex organic molecules into simpler molecules that it can absorb.

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