Living Beings & Habitat
Characteristics of Living Beings
All living beings need food to survive. Food gives them energy to carry out various activities. Food also provides raw materials for growth and repair.
All living beings show growth. A young animal grows to become an adult. A baby plant grows to become a tree.
All living beings respire. Respiration is the process by which a living being burns the food to produce energy. This energy is utilised for various activities.
Living beings take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide during respiration. This process is called breathing. Different animals have different types of organs for breathing.
- Most of the land animals breathe through lungs, e.g. humans, birds, snakes, etc.
- Some small creatures breathe through their skin, e.g. earthworms.
- Fish breathe through gills. The gills help them in taking oxygen which is dissolved in water.
- Frogs breathe through their skin when they are in water. They breathe through lungs when they are on land.
- Some aquatic animals don’t have gills. They have lungs and they take in air through blowhole, e.g. dolphin and whale.
Response to Stimuli
All living beings respond to external stimuli. For example; when it is too cold, we prefer to wear warm clothes. Many flowers bloom with sunrise which is another example of response to stimuli. Leaves of mimosa droop, when they are touched.
Excretion is the process of removing harmful waste substances from the body. All living beings excrete. The urine is the main excretory product in human beings. The carbon dioxide; which we breathe out; is also an excretory product.
The process by which a living produces its own kind is called reproduction. All living beings reproduce their own kinds. Some animals give birth to young ones, while some animals lay eggs. Many plants produce seeds which germinate to develop into a new plant. Some plants reproduce by other means; like through stems or roots.
This world is full of living beings. Scientists use various parameters to differentiate between living and non-living. Following are some difference between living and non-living:
|Living beings respire.||Respiration is not present in non-living.|
|Living beings take food for nutrition.||Non-living do not need nutrition.|
|Living beings show locmotion and movement.||Movement is absent in non-living. In case of motion in a non-living, power for that comes from some external agent.|
|Living beings show growth and it comes from inside.||Most of the non-living do not grow. Growth in some of the non-living comes from outside.|
|All living beings produce their own likes.||Non-living cannot produce their copies.|
The surrounding in which a living being lives is called its habitat. For example; the pond is the habitat for a frog. Our home is our habitat. A tree is the habitat for a squirrel.
Types of Habitat
There are two main types of habitat, viz. terrestrial habitat and aquatic habitat.
- Terrestrial Habitat: The habitat on land is called terrestrial habitat. The terrestrial habitat can be further categorized as forests, grasslands, coastal, mountain and desert habitats.
- Aquatic Habitat: The habitat in water is called aquatic habitat. The aquatic habitat can be further categorized as ocean, rivers, lakes, ponds and swamps.
Components of Habitat
There are two main components of a habitat, viz. biotic and abiotic.
- Biotic Component: The living beings make the biotic component of a habitat. Plants and animals are examples of biotic components.
- Abiotic Component: The non-living things make the abiotic component of a habitat. Soil, air, water, temperature are the abiotic components. Abiotic components provide necessary raw materials and conditions for the living beings to survive. For example; most of the plants need soil for anchorage. Moreover, soil also provides them with water and necessary minerals. Most of the terrestrial animals live on soil. Similarly, water and air are necessary for living beings to survive.