Seven characteristics of life In life, there are seven different characteristics these being; movement, excretion, respiration, reproduction, irritability, nutrition and growth. Below, I will explain each of the characteristics in detail. Reproduction means; “the production of offspring by a sexual or asexual process” (oxford concise colour medical dictionary, 2007). Animals and plants do this in different ways, animals need two parents, and therefore the offspring will share both of the parent’s genetics. This is known as sexual reproduction.
However, there are some exemptions of this such as; some sea life and tarnish of which, these only have one parent, these animals share this similarity with plants. Plants only ever have one parent, therefore have no genes to share; this makes them identical to their offspring. Plants can reproduce in many different ways. Two of these ways are; vegetative propagation which is when the plant grows a planet which makes the original plant bigger. This happens in some woodland plants and strawberry plants. Another way is when seeds are moved and made by biomass.
An example of this could be, if a dog ate the seeds of an apple, and then excreted it later on; the new seeds would get the nutrients from the ground and be made into a new apple tree. Another way seeds can be moved to a new destination and made into a plant is by the wind, the wind blows seeds from the original plant elsewhere. Arguably the most obvious characteristic of life is movement. Moving or being moved” (oxford concise colour medical dictionary, 2007). Locomotion is a voluntary movement such as running, walking, swimming or flying and is used to reach food, water, shelter or a mate.
This is different to movement which can be involuntary. This can be seen by plants leaves turning to face the sun, opening and closing depending on the time of day. In animals, they get energy from the food they eat, however; this is not enough energy to keep up with their life styles, most animals use up a lot of energy hunting for food. Animals such as humans all have a respiratory system of which one function is to use the oxygen from the air and exchange it for energy. When oxygen is used it is called aerobic respiration and humans get this oxygen into their body by breathing.
The opposite aerobic respiration is anaerobic respiration which doesn’t SE oxygen; this is most often found in plants. Here is a formula to show the difference in the two: Aerobic respiration: Glucose + oxygen -?+ carbon dioxide + water (+ energy) C6H1206 + 602 -?+ CHIC + AH (+ energy) Anaerobic respiration:OHO Glucose -?+ lactic acid (+ energy (BBC bites, 2013) Plants however, do not have a respiratory system, partly because they do not need as much energy as an animal. Plants use oxidation to make new energy to grow.
Irritability, also known as sensitivity, is the ability to monitor and respond to the environment or stimuli. Plants do not have a nervous system so will respond fervently to animals. Only rarely do certain plants respond to touch. They grow towards the light and as the sun moves during the day the leaves will follow. Another example of sensitivity in plants is that when a seed is upside down it will respond to gravity and shift so its roots end facing the soil. Animals respond in a much more obvious way using all their senses.
Such as sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Nutrition- All organisms need to take in substances from their surroundings to provide energy for the other characteristics of life to happen. Plants do this though he process of photosynthesis. While animals do this through eating and drinking. These differing types of gaining energy are known as heterocyclic and atrophic. Animals are heterozygous- this means that they cannot create their own food so need to gather it from their surroundings.
Whereas plants are atrophy and have the ability to create their own food through photosynthesis and chemosynthesis. Chemosynthesis is the production of energy through oxidation of inorganic material and photosynthesis is the process of converting light energy from the sun to chemical energy which enables the plants growth. All living things grow- there are no exceptions. There is also an expectation that as the organism grows they will become more complex. For example a child will grow to become an adult and an acorn will grow to become an oak tree.
Living things also have the ability to repair themselves. There is a difference between growth in non-living objects, such as stalactites and crystals, and living organisms as one occurs through the addition of materials and the other is dependent on the reproduction of cells. In plants this growth occurs through mitosis, meiosis and replication. Mitosis is the simple duplication off cell own to the exact genetic code Plants and animals both have the need to dispose of unwanted products that are left over from other aspects of the seven characteristics for life.
This occurs in two ways, they are excretion and suggestion. Excretion means to get rid of waste that the body does not need, humans do this by; sweating, urinating or defecating. Animals have individual organs and systems in place to do this such as the kidneys, liver and sweat glands. Plants also use this but in a different way. In the simplest form excretion can be seen in plants by toxins being passed through the cell membrane. It also refers to the disposal of products that are created by the body or plant.