One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An organism deriving its nutritional requirements from complex organic substances.Compare with autotroph
- ‘Unlike plants, animals are heterotrophs which means they are unable to live on inorganic nutrients alone.’
- ‘Classified by the source of their energy, bacteria fall into two categories: heterotrophs and autotrophs.’
- ‘The result, especially when heterotrophs are preyed upon by other heterotrophs, is a food chain.’
- ‘This photosynthetic control of cell-cycle progression is similar to the nutritional control of heterotrophs.’
- ‘Animals, on the other hand, are heterotrophs, life forms that depend on the consumption of plants, animals or both in order to meet their bioenergetic requirements.’
Early 20th century: from hetero- ‘other’ + Greek trophos ‘feeder’.
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