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heteros, other + trophe, nourishment.

Obtaining food or nourishment from other organisms.

Heterotrophic organisms or heterotrophs are consumers such as man or decomposers such as bacteria that obtain their nourishment and energy from the organic molecules manufactured by the autotrophic organisms (the producers). All animals, for example, are consumers and heterotrophs that depend on complex organic molecules produced by autotrophs for their food and energy.