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Examples of Heterotrophic Nutrition

The procedure of getting food necessary to acquire energy to lug out life functions is known as nutrition. Heterotrophic nutrition is defined as the reliance on other organisms for survival by certain species. A heterotroph is an organism that is unable to produce its own sustenance and must rely on other sources for survival, typically plant and animal debris. As a result, these creatures seek alternative food sources. As an outcome, heterotrophs are typically secondary or tertiary consumers in a food chain from an ecological standpoint. Heterotrophic nutrition is defined as the reliance on other organisms for survival by certain species.


Heterotrophs are all non-autotrophic organisms. An organism that gets its vitality and nutrition from other plants or animals is known as a heterotroph.

Examples of Heterotrophs

Animals, fungi, different protists, and some bacteria are examples. Fungi that devour both plants and animals are known as heterotrophic fungi. These animals have plant-like cell walls, but no chlorophyll (green pigment essential in photosynthesis).

Protozoans, some non-photosynthetic algae, water molds, and slime molds are heterotrophic protists (Kingdom Protista). There are so many different types of protists that entire volumes have been written about them, and many more species are likely to be discovered. Amoeba, for example, is just one of them.

Heterotrophic microorganisms are common. Many bacteria on our skin, in water bodies, and in a variety of other ecosystems are examples of Escherichia coli, which is typically found in faeces. Microbe-eating microorganisms are a fascinating type of bacteria. Other bacteria are eaten by these bacteria. A bacteria (Bdellovibrio) assaults and feeds on another bacterium. The Venus flytrap, for example, is not a "full-time" heterotroph. They may eat other species for food, yet they can still photosynthesize. As a result, we may call them facultative heterotrophic, indicating that they are not fully heterotrophic and can still survive and develop in a photosynthetic way of life when not using heterotrophy.

Photoheterotrophs and chemoheterotrophs are the two types of heterotrophs. Photoheterotrophs, on the other contrary, utilize light energy, whereas chemoheterotrophs do not use light energy and get their energy through Inorganic oxidation instead.


Photoheterotrophs are heterotrophs that use sunlight as a source of energy, but only as a supplement (i.e. extra energy). Carbon dioxide isn't their main source of energy, either. They get their carbon from other kinds of life, which means they eat other species.


In the realm of bacteria, photoheterotroph's may be found in the form of non-sulfur bacteria and heliobacteria. Aphids and a wasp species (the Oriental Hornet or Vespa orientalis) are examples of insects that use the sun's energy as a supplement to their normal diet.


Humans and other animals are chemo-heterotrophs, which are the most common heterotrophs. They gain their energy from chemicals obtained only from the consumption of other kinds of life.


Biological, solid, or liquefied food is converted into energy by humans and other creatures. Fungi, for instance, rely on the decomposition of organic materials to survive. Heterotrophs, on the other hand, break down complicated foods into digestible components. Heterotrophs obtain their energy from other living organisms, implying that they get their carbon from organic matter.

Types of Heterotrophic Nutrition

The several types of heterotrophic feeding methods and the species that fit within them are detailed below. In organisms, many forms of heterotrophic nutrition occur, which may be classified into the following groups.

Examples of Heterotrophic Nutrition

Examples of different modes of heterotrophic nutrition

Holozoic nutrition Humans, carnivores, grazing animals, etc.
Saprobiontic / saprophytic nutrition Many fungi
Parasitic nutrition Ticks, Tapeworms, etc.
Symbiotic nutrition Lichens, Rhizobium in the roots of leguminous plants, etc.

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