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 (hĕt′ər-ə-trŏf′, -trōf′)
An organism that is dependent on complex organic substances for nutrition because it cannot synthesize its own food.

het′er·o·troph′ic adj.
het′er·o·troph′i·cal·ly adv.
het′er·ot′ro·phy (-ə-rŏt′rə-fē) n.


(ˈhɛt ər əˌtrɒf, -ˌtroʊf)

an organism requiring organic compounds for its principal source of food. Compare autotroph.
het`er•o•troph′ic, adj.


An organism that obtains food by feeding on other organisms, e.g. animals, fungi.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.heterotroph - an organism that depends on complex organic substances for nutrition
organism, being - a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently
References in periodicals archive ?
The textbook introduces graduate students to the function and structure of estuarine ecosystems, looking in turn at the physical, geological, and chemical environment; primary producers including microbes; consumer organisms; and emergent holistic properties of estuaries.
The restablishment of an extensive food web was at the crux of the project, with primary producers (algae, plants), and consumer organisms (fish, insects, birds, and so on).

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