Natural Sciences

10 Characteristics of Living Things

Living beings

Organized units that have the ability to carry out certain actions such as metabolization, reproduction and evolution are called living beings . To carry out these functions, they must be able to exchange information, energy and matter with the environment and in turn with other living beings.

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Living beings are the result of high levels of organization from organic matter.

It is a minimal group of shared characteristics that are usually related to the characteristics of the species as we know it.

However, it is difficult to define the boundaries between what is considered living and non-living and to point out what distinguishes living things from the inorganic nature that surrounds them.

Characteristics of living beings

  1. They are made up of one or more cells.
  2. They depend on your ability and orientation to survive.
  3. The aspects in which it is most important to avoid imbalances are the pH, temperature, and concentration of nutrients. The different processes that achieve this balance are called homeostasis.
  4. The living beings must maintain a degree of stable organization consuming matter and energy. Living beings have by nature various mechanisms to obtain it from the environment. This process is called metabolisms and generally contains  2 fundamental processes:
  5. Catabolism: it is the decomposition of complex nutrients in order to obtain new substances of different qualities and energy is released during the process.
  6. Anabolism: starting from simple nutrients, the body originates complex substances and releases energy in the process.
  7. Living beings compete with each other to adapt to the environment in the best way.
  8. Natural selection shows that those who are better prepared for the environment in which they live tend to survive longer and reproduce faster.
  9. Most living things show some degree of intelligence.
  10. Living beings carry out sexual reproduction , this is basically the typical form of reproduction of unicellular beings because it deals with a development at the right point, and it can be physically divided into 2 new individuals , identical to the one that originates it.
  11. The sexual reproduction of living beings is a more complex process, because individuals have to be fully developed and thus contribute part of their genetic material, in order to create a dividual with a completely new genome. This type of reproduction is typical of multicellular organisms.
  12. The evolution of living beings is closely related to the adaptability of the species, and in turn is a consequence of it.

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