detrivorous

detritivore

[dih-trahy-tuh-vawr, -vohr]
noun Ecology.
an organism that uses organic waste as a food source, as certain insects.

Origin:
1975–80; detrit(us) + -i- + -vore

detritivorous [de-truh-tiv-er-uhs] , detrivorous [dih-triv-er-uhs] , adjective
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
detritivore  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (dĭ-trī'tə-vôr')  Pronunciation Key 
An organism that feeds on and breaks down dead plant or animal matter, returning essential nutrients to the ecosystem. Detritivores include microorganisms such as bacteria and protists as well as larger organisms such as fungi, insects, worms, and isopod crustaceans. In a food chain, detritivores are primary consumers. Compare carnivore, herbivore.

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