Heterotrophs are organisms that are not able to fix carbon and use organic carbon in order to grow. The contrast of this term is autotrophs which can use energy from sunlight or inorganic compounds in order to produce organic compounds such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates from inorganic carbon dioxide. Since these carbon compounds are reduced, they can be used as an energy source by the autotroph itself and provide the energy in food consumed by the heterotrophs. Humans, fungi, animals, and many bacteria are known as heterotrophs.


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