Autotrophs, usually plants, synthesize food with the help of a pigment called chlorophyll, which is present in the organelles called chloroplasts. This is the main difference between heterotrophs and autotrophs
Heterotrophs consume other organisms for nourishment since they are unable to synthesize their food. On the other hand
autotrophs are “self-feeders” (auto means “self” and trophos means “feeder”). These are organisms that do not derive nourishment from other organisms and produce their food from organic molecules like CO2 and other inorganic materials that they obtain from the surrounding environment.
Autotrophs are referred to as “producers of the biosphere” by biologists, as they are the ultimate sources of organic nutrition for all heterotrophs.
Organisms that rely on others for nutrition are called heterotrophs. Simply put, heterotrophs are incapable of producing their food via carbon fixation, so they consume other organisms, such as plants or meat, to fulfil their nutritional requirements.
Plant kingdom along with a few cyanobacteria
All members of the Animal Kingdom
Synthesize food using photosynthesis
Consume other organisms to gain nourishment
Secondary or tertiary level
Archaebacteria: heterotrophs or autotrophs?
Archaea are prokaryotic microorganisms that are quite similar to bacteria and are separated by the fact that they lack peptidoglycan in their cell walls.
Archaebacteria are known to live in extreme environments, like high pressure, high temperature, or sometimes even high concentrations of salt, and are called extremophiles.
These organisms are metabolically diverse, as they can be either heterotrophic or autotrophic
Archaea are generally heterotrophic and use their surrounding environment to meet their carbon needs. For example, methanogens are a type of archaea that uses methane as its carbon source.
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