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An introduction to living organisms
Biology is the study of living organisms. All living organisms from the simplest
unicellular organisms to
the most complex multicellular organisms share certain characteristics.
The characteristics of living organisms
Living organisms have seven characteristics in common:
G R I M N E R
Growth: a permanent increase in the size and complexity of an organism.
Respiration: the process by which energy is released from food by all living cells.
Aerobic respiration requires oxygen and takes place in most cells. Anaerobic
respiration takes place
without oxygen in certain cells.
• Irritability (sensitivity): the ability of organisms to detect and respond to changes in
their environment or within themselves.
• Movement: a change in the position of a whole organism or of parts of an organism.
Most animals can move their whole bodies from place to place. Plants and some
animals can only
move parts of their bodies.
• Nutrition (feeding): the process by which living organisms obtain or make food.
Animals take in ready-made food and are called heterotrophs. Plants make their own
food and are
called autotrophs.
• Excretion: the process by which waste and harmful substances, produced by the
body’s metabolism,
are removed from the body.
Reproduction: the process by which living organisms generate new individuals of
the same kind as
themselves.
Asexual reproduction requires only one parent. Sexual reproduction requires two
parents.
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An introduction to living organisms Biology is the study of living organisms. All living organisms from the simplest unicellular organisms to the most complex multicellular organisms share certain characteristics. The characteristics of living organisms Living organisms have seven characteristics in common: GRIMNER • Growth: a permanent increase in the size and complexity of an organism. • Respiration: the process by which energy is released from food by all living cells. Aerobic respiration requires oxygen and takes place in most cells. Anaerobic respiration takes place without oxygen in certain cells. • Irritability (sensitivity): the ability of organisms to detect and respond to changes in their environment or within themselves. • Movement: a change in the position of a whole organism or of parts of an organism. Most animals can move their whole bodies from place to place. Plants and some animals can only move parts of their bodies. • Nutrition (feeding): the process by which living organisms obtain or make food. Animals take in ready-made food and are called heterotrophs. Plants make their own food and are called autotrophs. • Excretion: the process by which waste and harmful substances, produced by the body’s metabolism, are removed from the body. • Reproduction: the process by which living organisms generate new individuals of the same kind as themselves. Asexual reproduction requires only one parent. Sexual reproduction requires two parents. Name: Description: ...
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