Every entity consists of an ecosystem in which it resides. This consists of its natural habitat and the basic necessities that are required for survival. These basic necessities are food, shelter, availability of the land, and mates. We all are surrounded by different plants, trees, birds, animals, microbes, and many other living and nonliving things depending on certain parameters, Scientists were able to differentiate between the living and the nonliving things. Different regions in the world have different types of living creatures that are called organisms. Even the openings of the volcanoes contain tiny living organisms. Even our homes are not deprived of any of these tiny organisms. We will learn in this article about the living organisms and their surroundings, the living organisms characteristics and habitats, and learn in detail about the organisms that live on land.
The Living Organisms and their Surroundings
Every organism has features that enable them to survive even in unfavourable environments. This occurs naturally and is referred to as adaptation. It differs depending on the place the organism lives. The place wherein an organism resides is called a habitat.
For example, the natural habitat of fishes is the water. This habitat provides them with air, water, food, shelter. Other animals and plants can also co-exist in the same habitat.
Living organisms residing in a habitat are called the biotic components. For example, a habitat can have both animals and plants as the biotic components. The non-living things present in a habitat are known as the abiotic components. For example, rocks, water, soil, etc.
Adaptation is brought about by several changes in the organism’s body or activities for them to survive. Some animals even adapt to severe climatic conditions like the polar bears and penguins in the polar regions, whereas some animals bring about the structural adaptations, for example, birds tend to modify their limbs into wings and use them for flight, fish use their gills to breathe in water. These adaptations are important for the functioning of the living organisms, wherein the survival of the fittest plays a crucial role.
A habitat wherein the animals live is generally accompanied by the flora. The animal ecosystem, in particular, is very challenging since the animals become both the predators and prey in the food chain. Some animals can even camouflage, and this type of adaptation enables them to protect themselves from the predators.
Terrestrial habitats consist of both the plants and animals living on land. For example, forests and deserts, whereas the aquatic habitats consist of animals and plants that are living in water, for example, rivers, lakes, etc.
The Living Organisms Characteristics and Habitats Question Answers
1. What are the Different Characteristics of Living Organisms?
The different characteristics of living organisms are as follows:
The process through which animals obtain their food and utilize it for different activities is called nutrition. Every organism needs nutrition for gaining energy.
All living organisms tend to grow and exhibit their growth in different ways. Their body cells divide and grow and hence their overall growth is attained.
Respiration is important for all living organisms. It is via respiration that the body gets energy from the food it consumes. Some animals might have different mechanisms for the exchanging of gases, which is a crucial part of the whole respiration process. For example, earthworms breathe via their skin and fish have gills on them for using the oxygen dissolved in water. We, humans, respire by breathing in the oxygen and breathing out the carbon dioxide.
4. Response to Stimulus
Changes in our everyday surroundings which makes us respond to them are known as stimuli. All living beings tend to react to the changes in their surroundings. For example, in response to the increased temperatures during summer, we use fans to cool ourselves and our homes.
All living things ingest food but not all the food which is eaten is really used. Only a small portion of it is utilised by our body. The remaining food becomes waste which needs to be excreted. Our body also generates some wastes just as urea from the other life processes. All living organisms get rid of this waste material from their bodies and the process is called excretion.
All living organisms give rise to another organism of their own kind through a process called reproduction. The mode of reproduction can be different amongst the different animals and plants. Some animals produce the young ones through eggs. Some animals give birth to their young ones. Plants tend to produce seeds that germinate into new plants. Some plants also reproduce through other parts than seeds. For example, a part of the potato with a bud grows into another plant.
Animals move from one place to the other and show many body movements. Plants are anchored in the soil and hence they do not move from one place to the other. However, various substances such as water, minerals and the food which is synthesised by the plants move from one place to the other. Plants also show other types of movement such as the opening and closing of the flower buds.
8. Animal Adaptation
The presence of certain features or habits that enable plants or animals for living in its surroundings, is referred to as adaptation. Different animals are adapted in their surroundings in many different ways. For example, fishes have slippery scales located on their bodies. These scales protect them and also help in the easy movement through the water.
2. What are the Different Kinds of Habitats of Living Organisms?
The surroundings in which the living organisms survive is called a habitat. The organisms depend on their habitat for food, water, air, shelter and many other needs. Habitat means living in a home. Several types of plants and animals share the same kind of habitat.
1. Biotic Components
The living components of a habitat are known as the biotic components. Eg: plants and animals
2. Abiotic Components
The non-living components of a habitat are known as the abiotic components. E.g: air, water, rocks, soil, etc
3. Terrestrial Habitats
The plants and animals which live on land are said to be living in the terrestrial habitats. E.g: forests, deserts, grasslands, mountain and coastal regions.
4. Aquatic Habitats
The habitats of the plants and animals which live in water are known as the aquatic habitats. E.g: ponds, lakes, rivers, swamps, and oceans.
Aquatic habitats can be freshwater such as river, pond or marine like the sea or even estuaries like the delta of a river that meets the sea