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Explain the characteristics of living organisms.

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: The living world is rich in variety, consists of millions of plants and animals which were identified and described. They vary in the range of size, color, habitat, physiological and morphological features.

Complete Step by Step Answer:
Growth, reproduction, ability to sense the environment, and suitable response against something all are counted as a unique feature of living organisms. Some features like metabolism, ability to self- replicate, self-organize, interact and emergence can also be added to the list.
Let's learn to understand the characteristic of living organisms -
1) All living organisms grow: increase in mass and number is the characteristic of growth. Multicellular organisms grow by cell division. plants grow by Cell division throughout their life. animals grow only up to a certain age. unicellular organisms also grow by cell division.
2) Metabolism: All living organisms are made of chemicals. According to the function of the body and the organ, the chemicals convert themselves into some other biomolecules through certain metabolic reactions. All plants, animals, and microbes exhibit metabolism.
3) Sensitivity: Living organisms have the ability to sense their surroundings or environment and respond to these environmental stimuli which could be physical- chemical or biological. Living organisms sense their environment through sense organs. All organisms from the prokaryotes to the eukaryotes can sense and respond to the environment and surroundings.
4) Reproduction: Ability to produce offspring to keep species in existence.
5) Excretion: Have the ability to get rid of waste products.
6) Movement: All living things move in some way. Plants move to track the movement of the sun.
- It's impossible to study all living organisms. So, it is grouped into convenient categories based on their observable character. The scientific term for these categories is called taxa. This process of classification is taxonomy.
- Characters, identification, classification, and nomenclature are the processes that are the basis of taxonomy.
- Taxonomical studies of all known organisms have led to the development of common categories such as Kingdom, Phylum, and division (for plants) class, order, family, genus, and species.

- In the case of humans it is difficult to define the living state as we observe in the case of a patient who is lying in a coma in a hospital is virtually supported by machines that replace the heart and lungs. The patient is otherwise called brain- dead and has no self- consciousness. Therefore, a patient who never comes back to normal life, what can we call him - living or nonliving? So in the case of humans, defining the property of Living is complex.
- All living organisms whether in the present, past, and future. All are linked with one another and sharing common genetic material but to varying degrees.