The term living came from the Old English lifende, meaning “living” or “having life”. The term thing came from the Old English þing, meaning “entity”, “being”, “body”, or “matter”. Synonyms: organism; life form; creature.
What are Living Things
Any organism or life form that exhibits or possesses the qualities of life or being alive is referred to as a living thing. The basic traits include having a structured structure, requiring energy, reacting to stimuli and changing their surroundings, and having the ability to reproduce, grow, move, metabolize, and die. The three Domains that make up the current classification of living things are (Eu)Bacteria (real bacteria), Archaea (archaebacteria), and Eucarya.
Characteristics of Living Things
Organisms that exhibit signs of life are referred to as living things. The following traits are what distinguish live things from non-living things.
Living Things Requires Energy
Energy is a necessity for all living things. Energy is crucial since it powers a cell’s myriad metabolic processes. Through the process of photosynthesis, light energy is transformed into chemical energy, which is one method that organisms generate energy. Another method is by cellular respiration, in which energy is obtained biochemically from an organic substance (such as glucose) and then stored in an ATP-like energy-carrying biomolecule for use later.
A Well-Structured System
Living things are structured systems. It may be single-celled, like a bacterial cell, or multicellular, like the cells that make up animals and plants. The basic biological building block of an organism is a cell. The cell performs several cellular functions in an organized, systematic way. A plasma membrane encloses the protoplasm that makes up a cell. Organelles are cytoplasmic structures that are suspended in the cell’s cytosol and have distinct roles and functions.
Life itself develops. Growth at the cellular level can refer to both a gain in quantity and size. Cell division is the process used to increase the number of cells. Animal stem cells and plant meristematic cells both divide to produce new cells. The rise in cytoplasmic mass is frequently cited as the cause of the increase in cell size. In the cell cycle, the cell goes through a number of phases. The new cell created during mitosis typically goes through interphase.
It is the stage of the cell cycle during which the cell enlarges. The cell may copy its DNA to get ready for the subsequent cell division if it has not fully differentiated.Plants gain volume in new cells by ingesting and storing water in vacuoles.
Between the primary cell wall and the plasma membrane, some plant cells develop a secondary cell wall. In vascular plants, there are two forms of growth at the tissue level: primary and secondary. While secondary growth is characterized by lateral growth brought on by the creation of secondary xylem from the vascular cambium, primary growth involves vertical growth as primary xylem forms from the procambium.
The development of tissues follows a pattern and is genetically predetermined in higher animals. Unlike those of plants, regeneration capacities are not limitless.
Different species regenerate to different degrees. Salamanders, for example, can grow new eyes or limbs but humans cannot. However, human beings can also regenerate several bodily components, including the skin and some liver tissue.
A live thing has the ability to procreate. Asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction are the two methods by which living things can generate copies of themselves. In sexual reproduction, the two parents’ male and female sex cells combine to form a zygote, which will eventually grow into a being of its own kind. Contrarily, asexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that does not use sex or gametes for fertilization.
The offspring comes from only one parent. Examples include binary fission, budding, vegetative propagation, sporogenesis, fragmentation, parthenogenesis, apomixis, and nucellar embryony.
An organism metabolizes. A cell or an organism’s ability to maintain its living state through multiple processes is referred to as metabolism. some of the homeostatic processes that are examples are cell development, respiration, reproduction, response to stimuli, nutrition, biomolecular synthesis, waste disposal, and other processes.
Catabolism and anabolism are the two types of metabolism. Living things engage in catabolism, which involves degradative chemical reactions that result in the disintegration of large molecules into smaller ones, releasing energy in the process. Anabolism is a chemical process where molecules are constructed from smaller building blocks.
Responsive to Stimuli
Living things react to stimulus and change in their surroundings. It is capable of detecting environmental changes, particularly when cells acting as receptors are present. The five basic senses that people have are sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Other senses include thermoception, kinesthetic, internal sense (interoception), vestibular (which detects bodily movement, direction, and acceleration), and so on. It can not only notice changes in its environment but also adjust to them.
Moving is a sign of life. A living organism may react appropriately to stimuli because it is able to perceive them in its environment. Animals migrate, for instance, to forage, avoid predators, and look for a suitable partner. While plants only have a limited sort of movement known as nastic movement, animals can move at will.
Living things pass away. Every living thing has a life, which finally comes to an end. Biological aging is referred to as senescence. It is the process by which living things gradually decay over time. Gradually, the organism’s capacity to function and respond to stresses declines.
It becomes more susceptible to illnesses and dysfunction as a result. The cell no longer divides at the cellular level, however it may still be metabolically active.
Telomere shortening that results in DNA damage is one of the natural causes of cellular senescence. On the other hand, certain living organisms are thought to be immortal because they appear to escape death. Examples include the regenerating flatworms, the age-reversing jellyfish Turritopsis doohmii, and the supposedly invincible tardigrades.Follow us on Whatsapp , Instagram, Twitter , Facebook