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Microbivory (adj. microbivorous, microbivore) is a feeding behavior consisting of eating microbes, especially bacteria, and practiced by animals of the mesofauna, microfauna and meiofauna. In food webs of ecosystems, microbivores can be distinguished from detritivores, generally thought playing the roles of decomposers, as they don't consume decaying dead matter but only living microorganisms.
A well known example of microbivorous nematodes is the model roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans which is maintained in culture in labs on agar plates, fed with the 'OP50' Escherichia coli strain of bacteria.
There is also an use of the term 'microbivore' to qualify the concept of robots autonomously finding their energy in the production of bacteria. Robert Freitas has also proposed microbivore robots that would attack pathogens in the manner of white blood cells.
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