|Topics||Consumers, Decomposers, Primary Consumers, Tertiary Consumers|
Most animals consume other organisms to survive. Consumers (heterotrophs) are divided into three types, primary, secondary, and tertiary, based on their place in the food chain.
Decomposers (saprotrophs) are organisms such as bacteria and fungi that break down the organic matter in the dead bodies of plants and animals into simple nutrients.
Primary consumers (herbivores) subsist on producers like plants and fungus. Examples are grasshoppers, cows, and plankton.
Tertiary consumers eat primary consumers and secondary consumers and are typically carnivorous predators. Tertiary consumers may also be omnivores. Examples include wolves, sharks, and human beings.