Characteristics of Living Things

All living things have common traits, irrespective of plants and animals. Scroll down to know these common characteristics of living things.
Living things can be broadly classified into plants and animals. They both have common characteristics as they depend on oxygen for life. They follow a universal circle of life with birth, reproduction and death. They need all the basic nutrients for growth and development and are prone to disturbances in their metabolism. They share a mutual bonding through the ecosystem they survive in i.e. plants depend on animals for carbon dioxide and animals depend on plants for oxygen. Here's some information on the similar characteristics of living things.

The basic component present in every living entity is the cell. Both plants and animals are made up of one to countless number of cells which carry out different sets of functions. Life before evolution began from a single cell. Similarly even today, life is generated from a single cell which then divides or multiplies to give rise to a complex living form. After fertilization, once the zygote is formed, the cells start differentiating into their types and over a certain period of time give rise to a fully developed, mature living entity.

Plants and animals, use various forms of energy for the development of their bodies. The complete use of chemical energy they use to carry out their life processes is called metabolism. Plants use the energy from the sun or solar energy to carry out photosynthesis which is the process for making their food (glucose). They are hence known as Autotrophs. Animals and humans, however cannot produce their own food and are dependent on plants and other animals for their food and hence they are called the Heterotrophs.

One of the rule of nature is growth which is followed by all life forms. As development is an involuntary process, every cell in a living entity has to age. Growth and change is a part of all living organisms as cells divide to give rise to new and identical ones. Sometimes due to some genetic defects, during differentiation, some cells mutate to form other types of cells and result in complex organisms. This process of constant development and growth is also called organogenesis.

All organisms reproduce to continue their species' life. Plants and animals have a reproductive system which is completely developed at puberty. There are two types of reproduction prevalent in nature, viz. sexual and asexual. The sexual reproduction involves the combination of genetic material to give rise to a single zygote that further develops into a bigger organism. The asexual reproduction involves the splitting of one organism or cell to form two separate individuals of the same species.

Every living thing is highly organized when it comes to the pattern or built of the body. Plants as well as animals have very complicated cell structures arranged very uniquely in the different organs. The cells form organelles, and organelles form organs. The organs make up the various parts of the organism. This is a network which every cell follows.

Whatever is created has to come to an end. Both plants and animals have limited life spans during which they go through their life processes like development and reproduction. As the cells age over a particular time period, these overgrown cells start becoming weak and lose their functions. They can't survive the atmospheric pressures and give in to them eventually. This is called death. They all have a particular age they live up to and then surrender to nature.

Other Characteristics
Some of the other characteristics include homeostasis, which is the process to maintain stable internal conditions for survival. These conditions have to be maintained for body temperature, heartbeat, water content, etc. When the homeostasis is regulated, the metabolism of the body is regulated and the living things stay healthy and fit.

Movement is also one such characteristic. These movements depend on each species of plants and animals. Adaptation and defense are considered as common traits too. Every living entity has to adapt to certain conditions for survival and if it can't then it won't survive. It is their right to protect themselves from predators.

Evolution is a type of miracle that has accompanied us for billions of years and is still in process. Eventually all living entities complement each other through their characteristics and that is what Darwin's theory of evolution is all about.
Last Updated: September 23, 2011
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really did help me thankx - ingrid l. [March 5, 2014]
very good knowledge to other students - angel [January 4, 2014]
pictures of living tings and characteristics - emil [November 6, 2013]
this helped a lot with my report! thanks! - horse lover [December 20, 2012]
Hullo. I thought it is good bu is not the best. - olivia [November 19, 2012]
Photosynthesize - Jjjkk [September 16, 2012]
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quite astounding iffin i do say so meself though it doesn't quite anwer me question wot - nigel [February 6, 2012]
Thanks for the information, i hope more will be provide for more learning. - ANTHELA [October 29, 2011]
This is gud! - Joyce [October 25, 2011]
do you have anny more characteristics of living things? - cristal steele [September 12, 2011]
it would be even more helpful if you would provide use with the differences betwee plants and animals based on the characteristics of a living thing - anonymous [September 6, 2011] great...i learn more a lot of this characteristics... - dennah. [July 1, 2011]
thank you for the informations that you have given on this selections and then,i hoped that all the person who read this information,their a lot more... - Mery Joy G.Gude [June 30, 2011]
what are the other characteristics of living things? - Mery Joy G. Gud [June 30, 2011]
thanks you the informations about the biology - clive monick [June 29, 2011]
characteristecs of livingthing - michael ryan [June 27, 2011]
it's good knowledge! thank u 4 it! :) - Butterfly :) [June 7, 2011]
oh! it is good to know that they some person or people who knows about this. thank you. bow! - cynthia [March 7, 2011]
lahat compleyo ang meaning - slardarblack [February 25, 2011]
why is metabolism necessary for animal's survival - amy [February 17, 2011]
the info is not entirely helpful. Specification is key. - ashley [February 1, 2011]
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i learn more - rotchie lonzaga [January 26, 2011]
Too Long ar ! - Anson [November 9, 2010]
are nutrition, irritability, respiration, excretion, etc not characteristics of living things? - Ag moses [August 26, 2010]
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uhmm . ..actully it is correct but some are also correct even if the other one is correct so everyone is correct! ;P - Mr.Correct [June 24, 2010]
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