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Autotrophs vs. Heterotrophs
Next Generation: MS.LS1.6 NGSS

Autotrophs vs. Heterotrophs

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson will review the difference between autotrophs and heterotrophs, and show how both play important roles in a food web.

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The two types of energy consuming organisms are called autotrophs and heterotrophs.


Autotrophs produce organic nutrients from inorganic nutrients.


Flower (a flower produces organic nutrients from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water)


Heterotrophs consume organic nutrients produced by autotrophs, or by consuming other heterotroph organisms.


Deer (a deer consumes organic nutrients in the form of grass but cannot produce its own energy)

Fox (a fox consumes organic nutrients in the form of rabbits but cannot produce its own energy)

Autotrophs vs. Heterotrophs