8 Characteristics of Living Organisms
Eight Characteristics of Living Organisms
- Response to stimuli
Nutrition: All living organisms need food to grow and survive. Food gives them the energy and materials they need to grow. They get this energy through the process of metabolism. The plants make their own food through the process of photosynthesis. Animals get food by eating plants and other organisms.
Respiration: Living organisms get energy from food through a chemical process known as respiration. Respiration usually involves exchanging two gases. For example, our body takes in oxygen for respiration, called inhalation, or inspiration. Exhalation, also known as expiration, is the process of emitting carbon dioxide during respiration. This exchange of gases is called respiration.
Growth: All living organisms grow and become bigger over a period of time. For example, a seed grows and becomes a baby plant, and a baby plant grows into a big tree. Similarly, a baby grows and becomes an adult. A kitten grows and becomes a cat.
Did you know that all living organisms grow from a “single cell”? Growth in living organisms occurs by the division of a single cell into a large number of cells.
Movement: Movement is an essential characteristic of living organisms. All living things have the ability to move in some way. Animals move from one place to another for food and shelter. Plants also exhibit movement. They move by growing toward sources of light or extending their roots toward the water. The parts of a plant move towards a stimulus such as sunlight, water, or gravity.
For example, a sunflower moves in the direction of the sun. A dandelion flower opens up in the morning and closes in the evening when the sunlight fades. This movement of the part of a plant towards light is called phototropic movement.
Reproduction: Reproduction is the ability to form a new offspring. All the living organisms reproduce themselves. There are different types of reproduction in different animals. Some animals give birth to their young. Some animals reproduce their young by laying eggs.
Plants also have different modes of reproduction. Some plants reproduce through seeds. Seeds germinate into new plants. Some plants reproduce through tubers. For example, a baby potato plant grows from each bud on the potato. Similarly, some plants reproduce through cuttings. For example, a new rose plant can be grown through its cuttings.
7. Response to Stimuli
Response to stimuli: All living organisms respond to changes in their surroundings. Living things respond to external stimuli such as sunlight, temperature, sound, smells, taste, water, and chemicals.
For instance, if a man touches a hot object accidendently, he quickly pulls back his hand. Closing the eyes in response to bright light is another example of a response to stimuli.
Plants also respond to stimuli. For example, a sunflower turns towards the sun, and a Mimosa pudica (touch me not) plant’s leaves fold up in response to touch. Some common plant stimuli include sunlight, gravity, water, chemicals, and touch.