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List Of Common Characteristics Of Living Things

Biology is a subject that helps in studying life, but what precisely is a life? This may appear to be a foolish question with an apparent answer, yet defining life is not always straightforward. For example, virology is a discipline of biology that examines viruses, which have some of the features of living beings but lack others. Viruses, it turns out, may attack live beings, cause illnesses, and even reproduce, but they do not fit the requirements used by biologists to define life. As a result, virologists are not strictly speaking biologists. Likewise, some scientists investigate the initial molecular evolutionary process that led to life; because the processes before life were unrelated to biology. These scientists are likewise barred from doing biology in the strictest sense.

Since its inception, biology has battled with these concerns: What are the common characteristics that make anything "alive"? And, after we've established that something is living, how can we locate meaningful levels of organisation in its structure?

List Of Common Characteristics Of Living Things

Properties of Life

Order of the species or organisms, sensitivities or reactions to the environment, reproductional process, developments and process of growing, controlling, homeostasis, and energy production are all common amongst all living species. These features, when considered collectively, help in explaining life.

So let us have a look at properties and characteristics of life or living things;


Organisms are complicated, the coordinate system comprising of cells. Even single-cell creatures are extraordinarily complicated: atoms inside every cell form molecules that in turn forms cellular components and other cellular inclusion.

Sensitivity or Response to Stimuli

Organisms react to a variety of stimuli. Plants, for instance, may respond by bending towards the sunlight, climbing a wall or fence, and responding to touches. Even microscopic bacteria may migrate toward or apart from chemicals or light (a process known as chemotaxis) (phototaxis). A positive reaction is defined as a movement toward a stimulus, whereas a negative response is defined as a transition away from a stimulus.

How would you react if you stepped on a sharpened thing like thorns while walking shoeless? What emotions do you get when you view or think about your liked eateries? You step out of the shadows and into the light. So, what happens? Your eyes will close naturally for a few moments while they acclimate to the new light surroundings. In the instances above, changes in your environment include your favourite dish, a bright light, and a thorn. Such changes elicit an instant response from all of us. Stimuli are modifications in our environments that cause us to react.

List Of Common Characteristics Of Living Things

Do other animals respond to stimuli as well? Examine the behaviour of animals when they are given food.

Do you notice them immediately become active when they see the food? What happens when you approach a bird? When strong light is shone in their direction, wild animals flee. Similarly, when the kitchen light is turned on at night, cockroaches begin to relocate to their hiding spots. Can you provide any numerous evidence of animal reactions to stimuli?

Do plants respond to stimuli as well? Some plants' flowers only bloom at night. Flowers appear in certain plants just after dusk. When some plants, such as mimosa, often known as 'touch-me-not,' are touched, their leaves close or fold. These are some instances of plant reactions to changes in their environment.


List Of Common Characteristics Of Living Things

Single-cellular organisms reproduce by copying their DNA and then splitting it even when they are divided into two new cells.

Multicellular life frequently generates specialised reproductive germline cells that give rise to new individuals. When an organism reproduces, genes, including DNA, are handed down to its progeny. These genes guarantee that the progeny is of the same species and have identical physical traits, such as size and form.

Have you really seen the nests of certain birds, such as pigeons? A large number of birds lay their eggs in the nest. Some of the eggs may hatch, resulting in the birth of young birds.

Animals reproduce within their own species. In various organisms, the mode of reproduction process may vary. Several animals use eggs to generate their offspring, and some animals give birth to their offspring.

Plants, like animals, reproduce. Plants, like mammals, have several modes of reproduction. Many plants reproduce through seed, and plants generate seeds, which germinate and develop into new plants.

Some plants reproduce by means other than seeds. A bud on a potato, for example, matures into a new plant.

Growth and Development

List Of Common Characteristics Of Living Things

Organisms' growth and development take place in response to precise instructions encoded in their DNA. These genes offer instructions that govern cell growth and development, guaranteeing that the offspring of a species will have many of the same features as their parents.

Is the outfit you wore a few years ago still appropriate for you? Is it not true that you can't wear it anymore? During these years, you must have gotten taller. You may not realise it, but you are constantly developing and will be an adult in a few years.

Animals' young develop into adults as well. You've probably seen puppy dogs grow into adulthood. A chicken that hatches from an egg becomes a hen or a cock.

Plants, too, grow. Look around you for a few plants of a certain type. Some are quite little and juvenile, while others are mature. They might all be in several stages of development. Examine the plants after some days or weeks. There is a probability that some of them have expanded in size.

All living creatures appear to experience growth.


Even the tiniest organisms are complicated, requiring several regulatory mechanisms to coordinate internal activities, respond to inputs, and cope with external challenges. Nutrient transportation and blood circulation are good instances of internal activities controlled in an organism. Organs (groups of tissues that operate together) distribute oxygen throughout the body, remove wastes, supply nutrition to every cell, and cool the body.


List Of Common Characteristics Of Living Things

Cells require specific parameters in order to function effectively, such as the optimum temperature, pH, and concentration of various substances. These parameters, however, are subject to alter from one moment to the next. Through homeostasis (actually meaning, "steady state")-the capacity or potential of an organism to maintain consistent internal conditions-species are able to keep internal conditions within a restricted range virtually continually, despite outside changes.

For example, an organism's body temperature must be regulated by a process called thermoregulation. Frigid-climate organisms, such as the polar bear, have body features that assist them in tolerating cold temperatures. Keeps their body heat warm. Fur, feather, blubber, and fat are examples of structures that help in this form of insulation. In hot regions, species have strategies to dissipate extra body heat (such as sweat in humans or panting in canines).

For their metabolic functions, all organisms require a source of energy. Some species catch solar energy and transform it into chemical energy in their food (photosynthesis); others utilise chemical energy in molecules they consume as food (cellular respiration).


All living creatures require food. The body actually absorbs only a portion of the food that is consumed. What tends to happen to the remainder? The body must eliminate this as waste. Our bodies also generate waste as a result of other biological activities. The process by which living creatures eliminate these wastes is called as excretion.

Do plants excrete as well? They do, indeed. Plants, on the other hand, have slightly different systems. Some toxic or deadly compounds are created as waste in plants, and certain plants may store waste products inside their components in such a way that they do not affect the plant as a whole. Certain plants excrete waste materials as secretions. Another feature shared by all living things is excretion.

List Of Common Characteristics Of Living Things


Can humans survive without the ability to breathe? When we breathe in, air goes from the outside to the interior of our bodies. When we exhale, air goes from within our bodies to the outside. Breathing is an aspect of the process of respiration. Some of the oxygen present in the air that is breathes by us is utilised by the living organism at the time of respiration. We expel the carbon dioxide created by this procedure with the help of our lungs.

The breathing mechanism of animals such as cows, buffaloes, dogs, and cats is comparable to humans'. Observe any of these animals when they are resting and pay attention to the movement of their abdomen. They are breathing, as seen by their gradual movement. All living creatures require respiration.

The body receives energy from the food it consumes through breathing.

Some organisms may have distinct systems for gas exchange as part of the respiration process. Earthworms, for instance, breathe via their skin. Fish, we've learned, have gills that allow them to consume oxygen diluted with water. The gills take oxygen diluted in water from the air.

Do plants breathe as well? Gas exchange in plants occurs mostly through their leaves. The leaves absorb oxygen by taking in air through small holes in their surface, and they emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

We discovered that in the presence of sunshine, plants utilise carbon dioxide from the air to make their own food and emit oxygen. Plants only create food during the day, whereas they respire at all times of the day and night. The quantity of oxygen that gives off oxygen throughout the food production process is substantially more than the quantity of oxygen used in breathing.

Food or Nutrients

We discovered that all living things require food and how important it is to both animals and humans. We have also learned that plants produce their own food with the helps of a procedure known as photosynthesis. Plants and other animals provide sustenance for animals, and food provides organisms with the energy they require to grow. Organisms also require this fuel for various living activities that occur within them.


Plants, animals, and bacteria are all biotic components. Abiotic components of our environment include rocks, soil, air, water, light, and temperature. Living creatures have basic characteristics: they require food, they respire and excrete, they react to their surroundings, they procreate, evolve, and they migrate.

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