|Compare autotrophic (of organisms, such as animals) obtaining carbon for growth and energy from complex organic compounds|
|[C20: from |
heterotroph het·er·o·troph (hět'ər-ə-trŏf', -trōf')
An organism that cannot synthesize its own food and is dependent upon complex organic substances for nutrition.
|heterotroph (hět'ər-ə-trŏf') Pronunciation Key
An organism that cannot manufacture its own food and instead obtains its food and energy by taking in organic substances, usually plant or animal matter. All animals, protozoans, fungi, and most bacteria are heterotrophs. Compare autotroph.
heterotrophic adjective (hět'ər-ə-trŏf'ĭk)