Q:

What are five characteristics of living things?

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Quick Answer

Five characteristics of living things, which are comprised of one or more cells, include the ability to grow, adapt and reproduce, along with responsiveness to stimuli and metabolic processes necessary for survival. The term "living things" encompasses animals, plants and simple organisms, such as amoeba, fungi, viruses and bacteria. Scientifically, living things are categorized into animal and plant kingdoms, depending on their similarities.

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Full Answer

The cell is the basic unit of living things, and its chemical processes and components have fundamental similarities in all living organisms. Cells contain genes, which determine the unique characteristics of living things. In addition, living things require energy to survive. Plants use the sun to make their food, but animals depend on food from the environment. Living things develop or grow through organized changes in shape and body functions.

Growth also involves the process of repairing damaged cells and tissues. Responsiveness to the environment allows living things to adapt to change and survive. The ability to move is limited in some living things, such as plants. Most living things also work and depend on other life forms for survival. For example most animals depend on other animals and plants for nutrients. They also compete for resources, such as food, moisture, sunlight and space. When living things die, bacteria and fungi act upon their cells and tissues, causing decay and release of nutrients to the soil for plants to absorb and utilize.

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Related Questions

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    What are characteristics of nonliving things?

    A:

    A nonliving thing is a body or object that is inanimate or dead. It is anything that lacks or stops displaying the characteristics of life. One of the most significant characteristics and differences of a nonliving to a living thing is its lack of protoplasm, which is the living substance of cells. Without protoplasm, nonliving things are not capable of reproduction, growth, movement, respiration and metabolism.

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    What do all living things need?

    A:

    All living things require a source of energy, nutrients, water, space to grow and reproduce, and a relatively stable environment that allows homeostasis. Many organisms also require oxygen, but this is not a universal requirement, and oxygen is actually deadly to certain organisms. Indeed, beyond these basic categories of needs, the requirements of organisms vary vastly from species to species.

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    What do organisms need for survival?

    A:

    To survive, an organism needs a habitat that features somewhere to attract mates and find resources, has food, and protects it from the weather and extreme temperatures. The specifics of what an organism needs to survive varies between species, and many must adapt to environments to thrive.

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    In what way are all living organisms on Earth similar?

    A:

    All living things are made up of cells, obtain and use energy, grow and develop, reproduce, respond to stimuli, and have the ability to adapt to their environments. Living things are organisms that have life with self-sustaining processes.

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