Topics in BiologyTypes of Desert and their Characteristics Characteristics of Tropical Rainforest Swamp Forest: What are Swamp Forests? Characteristics of Swamp Forests Savanna: Savanna and Grassland explained Savanna - Types of Savanna Tropical Savanna and Temperate Savanna with their Characteristics Introduction to Biomes: What is a Biome? Importance of Swamp Forests Swamp Forests - Types of Swamp Forests Ecology - Ecological Concepts explained Biology: What is Biology? Are Viruses Living Organisms? Differences Between Bone and Cartilage Skeleton: Functions of the Human Skeleton Bone: Type and Classification of Bones based on Shape Skeletal Material: Cartilage and its Functions Cartilage: Types of Cartilage Components of the Ecosystem What is Ecology? Branches of Ecology Ecosystem: What is an Ecosystem?
Academic Questions in Biology
Which of the following is a category of long bones?
The end product of photosynthesis is _____.
The above diagram illustrates a _____.
The living cells that makes up cartilages are called _____.
Which of the following statement is incorrect with regards to chitin?
Which of the following is NOT a function of the human skeleton?
Organisms that manufacture their own food through the help of sunlight or chemicals are best referred to as _____.
Organisms that begins a food chain and also manufacture their food through photosynthesis are best referred to as _____.
Biology is the study of life. If an organism is to be considered as living, it must possess certain basic life characteristics; for instance, a stone cannot move and this makes it non-living.
The point in the above instance is; every living organism must be able to move. As a result, movement is regarded as one of the basic characteristics of life.
Below are the basic characteristics of living organisms:
1. Movement: All living organisms move. Movement should not be confused with locomotion.
Locomotion requires a change of position while movement does not necessarily require a change of position. For instance, plants undergo bending movements while remaining on the same point (or position). Animals on the other hand can move from one point to another (locomotion).
When a plant is put in a dark room, it will attempt to move or bend towards light. This is known as positive phototaxis.
2. Respiration: Respiration is quite different from breathing. For respiration to occur, the process of breathing must first take place.
Breathing implies the exchange of gases. For instance, organisms breathe in oxygen (inhalation) and breathe out carbon(IV)oxide (exhalation). Conversely, respiration focuses on the use of the inhaled oxygen.
Inhaled oxygen is used for oxidizing or breaking down digesting food (usually glucose) to produce energy (ATP); and this is what aerobic respiration entails.
Glucose is a simple sugar derived from the breakdown of carbohydrates (or complex sugars).
Carbon(IV)oxide and water are waste products from aerobic respiration, thus organisms breathe them out.
Note: Respiration can also be anaerobic if food is broken down in the absence of oxygen.
Aerobic Respiration occurs in an organelle of the cell called mitochondria and ATP is generated through the process. For this reason, the mitochondria is often regarded as the power house of the cell.
ATP is an acronym for Adenosine Tri Phosphate.
3. Nutrition: All living organisms must feed to stay alive. Without food, organisms will not grow, reproduce and excrete.
Some organism manufacture their own food and are referred to as autotrophs while others depend on ready made food, thus are referred to as heterotrophs.
4. Irritability: All organisms must be able to respond to stimuli if they are to survive in their environment. As an instance, a desert plant will have its root penetrating deep within the soil in order to get water.
Based on survival instincts, all animals will attempt to fight or run for survival whenever they sense danger.
Note: A stimulus is anything that can elicit a physiological response in an organism. Stimulus can be either external or internal.
The sense organs (eyes, nose, ear, tongue and skin) acts acts as sensory receptors to external stimuli. Examples of stimuli include touch, pressure, heat, cold, light, pain, water, sound, chemicals and so on.
Another name for irritability is Sensitivity
5. Growth: All living organisms must grow in size and mass. The food we eat (preferably protein) provides the basis for our growth (through cell division) and the repair of worn out tissues.
6. Excretion: All living organisms must remove metabolic waste product form their body. Metabolic waste products include water, urea, carbon(IV)oxide and so on.
Feces is NOT a metabolic waste product. This is so because it isn't produced via the body cells. Rather, they are undigested materials that didn’t even enter the body cells in the first instance.
In larger animals, The removal of solid undigested materials from the anus is termed as egestion.
7. Reproduction: All living organisms have the ability to reproduce; that is, give birth to their young or offspring. Reproduction ensures the continuity of life for the various species of organism.
Living organisms reproduce in two ways:
Sexually: These require the sex cells of the male and female organisms. The male sex cell is the sperm while that of the female are the eggs or ova.
When both sex cells meet (usually inside the female, but could also take place externally); fertilization occurs and a zygote is formed.
The reproduction involving sperm and egg is termed sexual reproduction.
Asexually: This form of reproduction requires only one parent organism. No sex cells (sperm and egg) are involved.
The parent organism reproduces by dividing itself (cell division or binary fission), budding, spore formation or some other means.
Reproduction in this manner is termed asexual reproduction.
8. Death: All living organism must die. After death occurs, an organism will be considered as non-living because it cannot carry out other life characteristics.
Normally, living organisms are expected to grow and mature before they die.
Death is said to occur when an organism cannot carry out the other basic characteristics of life.
9. Adaptation: All living organisms must adapt to their environment if they are to survive. For instance, a fish is able to live in water because it has gills and fins.
Also, a camel is able to survive in the desert because it has large feet to aid walking on sand without sinking. It also has long eyelashes to help protect it from the blowing sand and wind.
The point is:
All organisms have various features on them that enables them adapt within their habitat.
Note: Plants are also able to live in different habitats because they have the required adaptive features towards that habitat. For instance:
Plants that live in/on water are termed hydrophytes.
Plants that live on land with moderate amount of water are termed mesophytes.
Plants that live on deserts or arid lands are termed xerophytes.
10. Competition: Due to the limitation of resources, all living organisms must be able to compete for the necessary available resources if they are to stay alive.
The limited resources include food, water, light, mates, space and so on.
You may have observed that male lizards (with red necks) map out their territories in order to enjoy all the resources within it. To this end they will usually undergo fierce competition from their male counterparts before such territories can become theirs.
This form of behavior in male lizards is termed territorial behavior or territoriality.
THANKS FOR READING - Please Help Share!
Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.
Amazing facts in Biology
Male Seahorses actually give birth to their young ones, NOT the female
All babies are born with blue eyes
Research made at the University of Vienna suggested that yawning may play an essential role in cooling the brains
All voluntary and concious activity of right handed people are controlled from the left part or hemisphere of the brain
A snail can actually sleep for 3 years 😁
An adult human being is composed of about 60% water. In fact, a newly born baby is composed of about 80% of water. This will drop to 65% after a year and finally to about 60% as the child ages
Without saliva, food can never be enjoyed. Food becomes tasteless since saliva is needed to dissolve the chemicals present in food onto the tongue’s taste buds.
Saliva also contains an enzyme called salivary amylase or "ptyalin" which helps to digest cooked starch to maltose. Maltose is a double sugar or disaccharide. Please read on sugars here
NOTABLE POINTS IN Biology
For a thing to be considered Living, it must possess all the Basic Characteristics of Life. These include:
Irritability or Sensitivity
During strenuous exercises like sprinting or 🏃 running, your body may actually work in the shortage of oxygen. During this time, your body owes oxygen (called oxygen debt) and it must be replenished or repayed after the exercise is stopped. This is why you breathe excess of oxygen after you stopped the exercise.
This is the concept of anaerobic respiration
A food Chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.
Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:
The term Biology originated from two Greek words. They are:
Biology can therefore be defined is the study of life
Anything that has life is generally considered as a living organism (or organism) 🌱🐐🐓. All living organisms must be able to carry the following activities:
The above listed points are often regarded as the basic characteristics of life. You can memorize them using the acronym (MR. NIGER DAC).
The gas used in the manufacture of food by plants is Carbon dioxide or Carbon(IV)oxide or CO2.
Plants manufacture food through a process called photosynthesis. Please read on photosynthesis here
Note: Plants are the only orgnisms that take away CO2 from the atmosphere