Characteristics of Living things

Characteristics of Living things
• What are some
characteristics all
living things share?
• What about non-living
All living things
• Are made up of one or more cells
• Single-cell organisms have everything
they need to be self-sufficient.
• In multicellular organisms, specialization
increases until some cells do only certain
Levels of Organization
Levels of organization
• Both molecular and cellular organization.
• Living things must be able to organize simple
substances into complex ones.
• Living things organize cells at several levels:
– Tissue - a group of cells that perform a common
– Organ - a group of tissues that perform a common
– Organ system - a group of organs that perform a
common function.
– Organism - any complete living thing.
Living things use Energy
• All living things must acquire
energy from their environment
– Plants and photosynthetic
bacteria and algae get energy
from the Sun
– Animals get energy from eating
plants or other animals
– Bacteria and fungi get energy
from decaying plant or animal
Living Things Respond To Their
• Living things will
make changes in
response to a
stimulus in their
• A behavior is a
complex set of
Living Things Grow
• Cell division - the orderly formation of new
• Cell enlargement - the increase in size of a
cell. Cells grow to a certain size and then
• An organism gets larger as the number of
its cells increases.
Living things Reproduce
• Reproduction is not essential for the
survival of individual organisms, but must
occur for a species to survive.
• All living things reproduce in one of the
following ways:
– Asexual repoduction - Producing offspring
without the use of gametes.
– Sexual reproduction - Producing offspring by
the joining of sex cells.
Living Things Adapt To Their
• Adaptations are traits giving an organism
an advantage in a certain environment.
• Variation of individuals is important for a
healthy species.
• As the environment changes species must
also change to survive or go extinct.
Other characteristics
• Movement
– Internal movement of organelles and fluids
– External movement
– Locomotion
• Maintain Homeostasis
– Relatively constant internal environment, pH,
temp, salinity
1. Composed of Cells
2. Levels of organization
3. Use energy for growth
and maintenance
4. Respond to their environment
5. Living things Grow
6. Reproduce
7. Adapt to their environment
8. Capable of movement
9. Maintain Homeostasis