Organisms in the animal kingdom are either herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. Herbivores obtain nutrients from plant organisms by consuming them. They would then receive many different nutrients which vary from Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen to Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc. Carnivores obtain nutrients from other animal organisms and consumes them the same way a herbivore consumes a plant. A carnivore would receive more protein and fat than a herbivore but would miss out on some other nutrients. However, omnivores consume both plants and animals and gain all the nutrients that a herbivore and carnivore would consume.
The process in which an animal changes nutrients to energy is complex. First a substance is entered into the mouth of an animal. In the mouth, saliva and other acids break down that substance into smaller units so that the animal can swallow it. After the animal has swallowed the substance, it travels down into the throat and into the esophagus which leads to the stomach. The stomach breaks the substance down even more. The substance is then exposed to more breaking down from other organs until it reaches the intestines where the nutrients is absorbed. However, unique animals have different ways of obtaining nutrients into energy.
Plants are producers of the food web. They are referred to this because of their ability to create their own nutrients and convert that into energy. Plants use the process of photosynthesis to produce a substance called glucose which is used as food for the plant. The process takes place in the chloroplasts and requires the elements carbon, oxygen and hydrogen as well as a light source. After the reaction is completed, the end product is glucose which is consumed by the plant and oxygen which is released out of the plant.
Fungi are called decomposers of the ecosystem. They break down nearly everything and absorbs the nutrients around the environment. They are referred to as heterotrophy which are organisms that obtain their energy by the oxidation of organic compounds in the environment. Fungi are unable to get nutrients from light or chemicals and have to feed off other organisms which is called parasitic. They store glycogen like animals.
Protista is made up of a large variety of diverse species. There are so many different species that there are three groups in which they fit. They are animal-like protists (protozoa) , fungi-like protists, and plant-like protists (algae). They are single celled with some exceptions like the multicellular algae. Protists can be heterotrophic and autotrophic or even both.
Animal-like protists are similar to animals in which they pursue prey and digest them through the mouth. They consume bacteria and single celled organisms (other protozoa). The process is called phagocytes. Fungi-like protists are heterotrophic and contain long strands which give them a physical similarity to a fungi organism. Although fungi strands are white while protist’s strands are colored. Fungi-like protists decompose and absorb to get nutrients. An example is water mold. Finally, plant-like protists are autotrophic and can create their own nutrients. They live in soil and wood and create an abundance of oxygen. They are similar to plant because they are photosynthetic. Protists even have stem-like structures and an example of a plant-like protist is algae.
Monera are all prokaryotic cells and are very diversified. There are two large groups of monera, eubacteria and archaebacteria. They are very different on how they obtain their nutrients.
Eubacteria are commonly heterotrophs and must take in nutrients from a source outside. Saprophytes which is a group of eubacteria consume dead material like fungi or parasitical bacteria which infects another organism and feeds off that from the inside of the host.
On the other hand, not all eubacteria are heterotrophic. Few are autotrophic which means they can produce their own nutrients. There are four groups of eubacteria.
Photoheterotrophic gains nutrients the same way plants do, with sunlight, but they have to have a carbon source that isn’t carbon dioxide.
Chemoheterotrophic parasitical bacteria that obtains nutrition through a living host. Saprobic bacteria which obtain nutrition from wastes and dead material.
Photoautotrophic create nutrients by using sunlight as a source and carbon dioxide.
Chemoautotrophic obtain nutrients from inorganic substances and utilizes the carbon dioxide to make natural compounds.
Archaebacteria are both heterotrophic and autotrophic. Majority of the bacteria is heterotrophic and absorb nutrients from sources. Few are autotrophic and create nutrients by the process of chemosynthesis which uses carbon dioxide and water to create carbohydrates. The difference from eubacteria is that archaebacteria usually live in unstable conditions like the mouth of animals, stomach/intestines, sulfur mines and springs which they consume the toxic chemicals to use as nutrients.