Categorizing Life Based on Energy Acquisition

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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In this video, we're going to introduce yet another way that scientists can classify living organisms by talking about categorizing life based on energy acquisition. And so scientists can actually categorize living organisms into three classes just based on how they acquire their energy. And so notice down below. We have a list of each of these three classes, and so the very first class are going to be the producers, which are also sometimes referred to as auto troughs. And so the producers, or autotrophs, as their name implies with the producers here, are going to acquire their energy by making or producing their own food without having to eat any other living organisms. Now, the second class that we have here are the consumers, which are also sometimes referred to as the hetero troughs. And so the consumers or the hetero troughs, as their name implies with the consumer part, they're going to acquire their own energy by eating or consuming other living organisms. And then third. Last but not least, what we have are the D composers and the D composers, as their name implies, are going to acquire their energy by decomposing other things like wastes and dead organisms. And so when we take a look at our energy, our image I'm sorry. Down below we'll be able to see and visualize the difference between these producers, consumers and D composers. But first, what you should note is that most of the energy that's utilized by life eyes going to originate from our son and with every single energy transfer there is in this process, some energy is always going to be lost in the form of heat. And this is an idea that will get to talk Maura about later in our course, once we start talking about the laws of thermodynamics. But for now, let's take a look at our image down below just to clear up some of the things that we've talked about. And so once again, most of the energy utilized by life is gonna originate from our sun. And so notice here, what we have is an image of our son, where most of the energy originates and notice that energy the transfer of energy is going to be symbolized with this orange arrow here. And so you can see that the energy from the sun can be captured by these producers here. And so once again, the producers are sometimes referred to as auto troughs because they can make or create their own food essentially by themselves, without relying on other living organisms. And so notice here we can put in the word producers or we could have also filled in auto troughs. Both of them would apply here. Now notice. Over here, what we have are the consumers like this bunny rabbit. The consumers are also sometimes referred to a zoo we mentioned up above hetero troughs because they eat other living organisms to obtain their energy. And so, for example, this little bunny rabbit right here would eat the producer, eat the grass in order to obtain its energy. And so there's a transfer of energy from the sun to the producers and then from the producers to the consumers that eat the producers. And then, eventually, as sad as it might sound, the bunny rabbit is ultimately going to pass away. And when it does, there are these other living organisms that we call D composers on these d composers will eat the dead organisms and wastes. And so what we see is that the energy gets transferred from the consumers down to the D composers. And so ultimately you can see the flow of energy from the sun to the producers, to the consumers and to the D composers and the D composers will also eat the dead producers as well. And so that's why you can see these the orange energy here, but which will also notice, is that in the green arrow here we're representing matter and matter is really just anything that could take up space and has mass. And so you can see that matter will also be flowing through this process. And so ultimately, when these d composers die, uh, the nutrients can make its way into the soil and that nutrients in the soil can be used by the producers. And so there's a cycle off matter within this, uh, process here on, then, once again, with every energy transfer which will notice is that heat is being lost at each of these steps here. But this is a process that relates to thermodynamics, which will worry about later in our course for now. But you guys should note is that most of the energy utilized by life comes from the sun, and you should be able to distinguish between producers, consumers and D composers. And so this here concludes our lesson on how we can categorize life based on energy acquisition, and we'll be able to get some practice with this moving forward in our course, so I'll see you guys in our next video.