Q:

What are the characteristics of living things?

A:

Quick Answer

The characteristics that all living things share are cells, growth, reproduction, adaptation, homeostasis, use of energy and response to the environment. Using these characteristics, it is easy to determine if something is living, dead or non-living.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

All living things are composed of cells. Some organisms, such as algae, are composed of a single cell (called unicellular organisms), while others, such as animals, are composed of many (called multicellular organisms).

All living things grow and develop. Their cells increase in number or grow in size, and they develop different characteristics as they do so. Reproduction either sexually or asexually is another characteristic of living things. This is the ability to produce offspring.

Adaptation means that living things alter themselves to adjust to their changing environments. Homeostasis of living things means having the ability to maintain an internal stable condition.

Living organisms also take in and use energy. Plants take in the energy from the sun and use it to produce food, and animals eat other organisms. This taking of energy from one source and using it to create energy in another way is done through a complex chemical process called metabolism.

Lastly, living organisms respond to their environment. A rock will not move if it is stepped on because it is not living, but a living thing, such as a cat, will respond to being stepped on by moving and letting out a cry.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do all living things need?

    A:

    All living things require a source of energy, nutrients, water, space to grow and reproduce, and a relatively stable environment that allows homeostasis. Many organisms also require oxygen, but this is not a universal requirement, and oxygen is actually deadly to certain organisms. Indeed, beyond these basic categories of needs, the requirements of organisms vary vastly from species to species.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are seven characteristics of a living thing?

    A:

    The seven characteristics of living things are movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition. Biology students often remember these characteristics using the acronym MRS GREN.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are biotic factors?

    A:

    Biotic factors are living things, such as plants and animals, that affect or influence their ecosystems and the lives of other living things in the environment. The biotic factors in an organism's environment include both the prey that the organism consumes and the predators that consume the organism.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are five characteristics of living things?

    A:

    Five characteristics of living things, which are comprised of one or more cells, include the ability to grow, adapt and reproduce, along with responsiveness to stimuli and metabolic processes necessary for survival. The term "living things" encompasses animals, plants and simple organisms, such as amoeba, fungi, viruses and bacteria. Scientifically, living things are categorized into animal and plant kingdoms, depending on their similarities.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore