Characteristics of
Living Things!
Biology 137
What is biology?
• Let’s break it down…
– bios = “life”
– ology = “study of”
• So…Biology = Study of life
Important questions we need to
answer…
• Important questions we need to answer…
– A fire grows and gives off energy, is it alive? Why or why not?
– What do you think characterizes life?
• IMPORTANT IDEA…
– Although a nonliving thing may exhibit some of these
characteristics, unless it has ALL characteristics it is NOT a
living thing.
All living things …
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Made of Cells (orderly structure)
Reproduce (offspring)
Grow
Develop
Use energy
Respond to changes in environment
Adapt and Evolve (change over time)
Maintain a stable internal environment (homeostasis)
A thing that possesses all characteristics of a living thing
is called an organism.
Living things are organized.
• All living things are made of one or more
cells!
– Cells are the basic unit of all living things.
– Cells and DNA function in an orderly system to
control the organisms’ life processes.
Living things make more living
things.
• Reproduction—have offspring
– It is essential for the continuation of the
species.
Living things change during their
lives.
• Two types of change
– Growth= a change in size
– Development = all of the changes that take
place during the life of an organism
• Babies grow and develop. Can you give
examples of each?
• Growth –
• Development-
Label each picture as either growth
or development?
Living things adjust to their
surroundings.
• Environment
– Includes air, water, temperature, and other
organisms in the area
• Any condition in the environment that
requires an organism to adjust is a
STIMULUS.
• A reaction to a stimulus is a RESPONSE.
How is this picture an example of response?
Name the stimulus. Name the response.
Living things adjust to their
surroundings.
• Organisms must maintain homeostasis
– keep a constant, stable internal environment
Living things require and use
energy.
• All organisms must take in materials and
energy to grow, develop and reproduce
• Metabolism – combination of
chemical reactions through
which an organism builds up
or breaks down materials
Living things adapt and evolve.
• ADAPTATION
– Any change in response to a stimulus that enables an
organism to better survive in an environment
– Adaptations are inherited from past generations
– Ex.
• EVOLUTION
– The gradual accumulations of adaptations over time
Important idea!
• Although a nonliving thing may exhibit
some of these characteristics, unless it has
ALL characteristics it is NOT a living
thing.
1-3 Characteristics of Living Things
QUIZ
An increase in size is known as
a. growth.
b. metabolism.
c. development.
d. differentiation.
1-3 Characteristics of Living Things
QUIZ
Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of
all living things?
a. use of energy
b. made of cells
c. stable internal environment
d. need for oxygen
1-3 Characteristics of Living Things
QUIZ
Which of the following are branches in the study
of biology?
a. cells, tissues, organs, and organisms
b. botany, cell biology, ecology, and zoology
c. populations, communities, and ecosystems
d. the genetic code, evolution, and the
biosphere
1-3 Characteristics of Living Things
QUIZ
The genetic code is carried in
a.water.
b. DNA.
c. proteins.
d. soil.
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Characteristics of Living Things!