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The Living Organisms and Their Surroundings

Habitat And Its Types

We often say that plants, animals, and microorganisms are living things. How can we say whether a thing is living or non-living? Which characteristics of living things classify them as living? Let us explore.

The various characteristics of living things are:

  • All living things are made up of cells. Cell is the basic unit of life. Living organisms that are made up of only one cell are called unicellular such as Amoeba, Chlamydomonas, bacteria, etc. Those made up of many cells are called multicellular. A complex multicellular organism is made up of trillions of cells such as humans, dogs, pine tree, lizard, birds etc.
  • All living things require food for growth and development. It also gives them energy for sustaining life processes. For example, plants manufacture their own food by the process of photosynthesis. Such organisms are called autotrophs. Animals, on the other hand, depend on plants and other animals for their food. They are called heterotrophs.
  • All living things grow. Growth can be easily observed in all plants and animals. Living things either produce new cells or their pre-existing cells increase in size and hence they grow. In animals, growth stops as they reach their adult stage while the plants keep on growin…

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