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An organism which is unable to synthesize and fix its own organic carbon-based compounds.[1] They obtain their energy from chemical fuels, and therefore depend heavily on autotrophs. [2] They can be separated into sub-sections according to how they obtain their energy; if the organism uses Chemical energy then it is called a chemoheterotroph, contrasted to an organism using light energy which is named a photoheterotroph. Classes of heterotrophs includes herbivores (animals that feed on plants), carnivores (the meat eaters), omnivores (meat and plants eaters) and scavengers (animals that feed on dead plants and carrion).


  1. Hogg, Stuart (2013). Essential Microbiology (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. Page 86
  2. Berg J., Tymoczko J and Stryer L. Biochemistry, 7th edition, New York: WH Freeman. Page 610
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