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An organism that consumes other, dead, organisms. Saprophages form part of the twofold division of the heterotrophs and consist mainly of bacteria and fungi, but also of some invertebrates, such as insect larvae (see Calliphoridae). They break down complex compounds obtained from dead organisms, absorbing some of the simpler products but releasing most of the products as inorganic nutrients which can then be used by other organisms.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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