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1.2.

Characteristics of
Life

Need to
O Describe the diversity of life
O Know key features of what makes

something living
O Define the terms life, metabolism and
continuity of life
O Define the charactersitics of life;
organisation, nutrition, excretion,
response and reproduction
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The Diversity of Animals


O There are more than a million different species of

animals on earth

O Scientists have organised all these animals

according to how they are related

O The animal kingdom is divided into groups called

classes for example


Reptiles

Birds Mammals

These all have similar features which distinguish


them from animals in other classes

The Diversity of Animals


Vertebrates

Invertebrates
Worms

Fish

Insects

Reptiles

Birds

Arachnids
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The Diversity of Plants


Algae
Ferns

Moss
Conifers

Flowering Plants

Common Characteristics
Living things:
O are highly organised
O are composed of tiny units called cells
O grow
O excrete
O move
O react to their surroundings
O feed
O reproduce

Metabolism
Metabolism is the chemical reactions that occur
in the cells of living organisms
These reactions are responsible for the process
of
O
Growth
O
Repair
O
Responsiveness
O
Reproduction
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All living things metabolise

There are 2 types of Metabolic


Reactions
Anabolic Reactions
These reactions use energy to join small molecules
together to form larger molecules
Example: Photosynthesis
Catabolic Reactions
These reactions use energy to break down large
molecules into smaller ones
Example: Respiration

Continuity of Life
Continuity of life means that living things arise
from other living things of the same type
You need reproduction and heredity to achieve
continuity
Genes are hereditary factors that are passed on
from one generation to the next during
reproduction
All living things reproduce
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Continuity of Life

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Goose Barnacle Barnacle Goose


Summer

Winter

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Learning check
Explain Metabolism
Explain Continuity of Life

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Life
O Life is said to consist of the posession of

all of a series of 5 characteristics.


O All 5 must be present
O Organisation
O Nutrition
O Excretion
O Response
O Reproduction
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Organisation
O Unicellular or multicellular
O Specialized structures
O Cell is the basic unit of structure and function
O If cell structure is damaged its function is also affected

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Levels of organisation
O Cell
O Tissue
O Organ
O Organ system
O Organism
O Population
O Community
O Ecosystem
O Biosphere

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Nutrition
-Energy
O Nutrition is the process involved in the making and

O
O
O
O

receiving or the absorption and utilisation of food


(energy and materials) from the environment
All energy for living things can be traced back to the
sun (primary source of energy)
Organisms use light energy to see (vision), to make
food (photosynthesis), for warmth (respiration)
Plants use sunlight to make food (producers)
Other organisms eat the plants to get energy
(consumers)
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Sources of Nutrition
In Animals: feed on other organisms
In Plants: make food by photosynthesis and
absorbing chemicals from the
environment
Energy flow:
Sun Plants Animals
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Growth and Development


O Growth increase in size
O Development change in form or shape
O Amount of growth varies in different

organisms
O Nutrition maintains the organisation and
growth of living organisms

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Excretion
O Excretion - is the elimination of the waste products of

metabolism from a cell, tissue or organ


O All living things must get rid of waste material if it was
allowed to accumulate it would become toxic to the
organism
O A balance must be maintained between their internal
and external environments

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Methods of excretion
Various organised structures involved
In Animals: the urinary system, skin, lungs
In Plants: the stomata

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Learning check
O What is meant by nutrition?
O This is the process involved in the making

and receiving or the absorption and


utilisation of food (energy and materials)
from the environment

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Response and Adaptation


O Response = reaction to a stimulus in environment
O Adaptation plants and animals change in response

to long-term changes in the environment; these may


be passed on to future generations (Charles Darwin)

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Methods of response
O In Animals: organised structures respond

to light, sound, touch, etc.


O In Plants: growth towards or away from a

stimulus e.g. light, water, fertilisers, etc.

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Learning check
What is Excretion?
O It is the elimination of the waste products

of metabolism from a cell, tissue or organ

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Reproduction
O Life comes from life.
O Reproduction is the ability of an organism

to produce new individuals of its own kind


and pass on genetic information to the
next generation.
O Necessary for the survival of the species
O Offspring can be the same as or different
from parent(s)

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Methods of reproduction
O Asexual: e.g. in bacteria and protista

binary fission (simple division in two)


mitosis
O Sexual: e.g. in plants and animals

involves two parents and the production of


male and female gametes

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Learning check
O What is the purpose of reproduction?
O To produce new individuals of its own kind

and pass on genetic information to the


next generation.
O Reproduction is necessary for the survival
of a species.

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Learning check
How do we know something is alive?

It has organization
cells, tissues, organs, etc.
It uses energy
Grows and develops
Excretes

Reproduces
Responds to the
environment
Adapts to the
environment
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Interactions between organisms


O There are relationships between organisms living in
O
O

O
O

same habitat
Predator-prey
Symbiosis (Mutualism & Commensalism)
Parasitism
A change in one type of organism can cause other
organisms to change
O Organisms that cant adapt fast enough might become

extinct
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Summary
O One characteristic is not enough to qualify something

as being alive.
O Life involves an interaction between metabolism and
continuuity
O Metabolism requires an interaction of organisation,
nutrition, excretion and behaviour
O Continuity requires organisation, nutrition, behaviour
and reproduction
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Need to know
Definition and identification of the "characteristics of
life",
through fundamental principles and interactions of
organisation
nutrition, excretion, response and reproduction.

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