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What are detritivores?
a. Breakdown cells
b. Digest dead matter by internal process
c. Digest dead matter by external process
d. Use biochemical reaction

Answer Verified Verified
Hint: The earthworm is the example of detritivore, which helps in the formation of vermicompost. Decomposers are the organisms which can break organic matter of dead organisms.

Complete answer:
- The detritivores are the heterotrophic organisms which depend upon the organic dead matter of plants and animals for its nutrition.

- The heterotrophic organisms are the organisms which depend upon other organisms for their food. All animals are heterotrophs because they are unable to make their food from inorganic substances like carbon dioxide and water as they lack chloroplast.

- The detritus is the dead remains of the plants and animals.

- The main difference between detritivores and decomposers is that the decomposers directly absorb the nutrients from the dead organic matter while the detritivores digests the dead organic matter internally.

- The decomposers break down the complex organic compounds present in the dead organic matter and convert them into simpler ones outside their body.

- The detritivores ingest dead organic compounds through their mouth, show intracellular digestion (breakdown of complex dead organic matter into the simpler forms inside the cell) and then excreted remains through the anus.

- The common examples of decomposers are fungi, bacteria and protists while that of detritivores are earthworm, sea cucumber, millipede, beetles, butterflies etc.

- Both detritivore and decomposer depend upon the dead plants and animals, thus they help in recycling the nutrients in the ecosystem. They also help in the removal of dead remains to prevent transmission of disease.

- The earthworm which is an example of detritivore helps in the production of compost. Earthworm degrades the organic matter through consumption, this process is known as vermicomposting.

- The decomposers do biochemical reactions and they digest dead matter by external processes.

Hence, The correct answer is option (B).

Note: The detritivores are the special type of decomposers that ingests the large amount of detritus. The decomposers and detritivores both occupy the top level in the food chain because it decomposes the organic matter from plants and animals at each trophic level.
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