Characteristics of Living Things
Human beings, animals and plants - all need food to survive. Trees, creepers, birds, flowers, insects, animals and seeds are all livings things. Soil, bench, water, air and dry leaves are all non-livings things.
The characteristics of livings things are:
Livings Things Need Food
Livings things need food to survive and grow. Food makes the body grow faster, and gives energy to the body to help it perform the life activities. For example, plants produce their own food by the process of photosynthesis, and grow. Animals depend on plants and other food for their survival.
Livings Things Grow
As livings things take food, they get more and more energy and grow faster. All living things grow continuously.
Livings Things Respire
Respiration is the process of breathing in and out. Living things take oxygen into the body as they breathe in and release carbon dioxide as they breathe out. The oxygen that enters the body during respiration helps the body to create energy from the food consumed. Some animals have special organs that help them in the process of respiration.
For example, the gills of fish help them to absorb oxygen dissolved in water. Earthworms breathe through their skin. Plants have tiny pores on the leaves that help them to breathe.
Plants respire day and night, but breathe out oxygen during the day. Plants release more oxygen while producing their food than they release during respiration.
Livings Things Repond to Stimuli
Stimulus is a change of some kind in the environment of a living organism. Every living thing responds in some way or the other to stimuli. The response in plants to stimulus can be observed easily.
For example, a plant called touch-me-not closes its leaves when touched. Also, the Evening Primrose blooms only during the night, while the flowers of Mentzelia Mollis close after sunset.
Livings Things Excrete
The process of eliminating wastes from the body is called excretion. Livings things need food, but they only absorb some amount of it for various processes, while the remaining food needs to be eliminated from the body. For example, plants eliminate harmful waste substances in the form of secretions such as resins and gums, whereas some plants store the harmful substances without any difficulty.
Livings Things Reproduce
All livings things reproduce. Some animals lay eggs, while others reproduce by giving birth to young ones. Plants produce seeds that can germinate into a new plant, but there are some, such as potato and rose plants, which reproduce through other parts.
Livings Things Move
Even though plants are livings things, they cannot move as their roots are fixed in the soil. However, the substances produced and required for their growth, such as water, minerals and food, move from one part of a plant to another. Some plants show some restricted movement. Animals have various modes of locomotion.
Livings Things Die
All livings things must die one day or another. Plants and animals die.
All livings things possess these characteristics, whereas non-livings do not have these characteristics.
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