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Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.
Alga (singular of algae) is an example of an autotroph because it is capable of photosynthesis.
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Image courtesy of Corel Photography

Autotrophs

Autotrophs are organisms that can "make their own food" from an inorganic source of carbon (carbon dioxide) given a source of energy. Most autotrophs use sunlight in the process of photosynthesis to make their own food. Photosynthesis is the name of the process which autotrophs use to convert water, carbon dioxide, and solar energy into sugars and oxygen. Examples of autotrophs are plants and algae (shown in the picture).

Autotrophs are the producers of the food chain. The word autotroph comes from the Greek autos=self and trophe=nutrition.

Last modified June 4, 2010 by Randy Russell.

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The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on the ocean, including articles on polar research, coral reefs, ocean acidification, and climate. Includes a gorgeous full color poster!

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