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Every non-autotrophic organism which depends on others for their food is called heterotrophs. Heterotrophs include every animal and non-photosynthetic plant which are unable to prepare organic molecules on their own. Heterotrophic nutrition can be classified into three types, based on the ways in which organisms obtain their food:

There are four main types of heterotrophic nutrition:

  1. Insectivorous - insect eating
  2. Symbiotic - cooperate with another organism for their mutual benefit
  3. Parasitic - live on another organism
  4. Saprophytic - decomposers

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